- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2006

Confirming Samuel Alito

Charles Hurt reports that “Sen. John Kerry dashed home from the Swiss Alps yesterday to man the barricades of a futile filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.,” an effort supported by Minority Leader Harry Reid even though he is quoted as saying, “Everyone knows there is not enough votes to support” it. Mr. Kerry’s view is that “this is a fight worth making” (“Democrats concede Judge Alito victory,” Page 1, Saturday).

One is hard put not to be struck by the cynicism of Mr. Kerry and Mr. Reid. Yet there is another side to their misguided behavior. Call it the culture of corruption of the Democratic Party.

The Democrats have linked the illegal activities of ex-Rep. Randy Cunningham to just about everything they can in their attempt to paint the Republican Party as corrupt. Cunningham crossed the line in influence peddling and has been punished accordingly. As repugnant as his actions were, they do not compare to those of Democratic senators who would filibuster Judge Alito’s nomination to satisfy activist liberal lobbies.

Attempting to thwart a vote on Judge Alito’s nomination abrogates the constitutional requirement that after the president submits a judicial nominee to the Senate, the Senate must advise and consent. In other words, vote the nominee up or down. The Constitution does not provide for a judicial filibuster or any other means for the Senate to prevent a vote.

The filibuster pandering to liberal lobbies by liberal Democrats in the Senate is unconstitutional, contrary to each senator’s oath to support the Constitution and suggests a culture of corruption within the Democratic Party.

Judge Alito is entitled to an up-or-down vote. The Constitution requires it.

ROBERT HARGEST

Alexandria

Liberal Democrats have charged that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice because he would set back the progress the courts have made in the past 50 years — Sen. John Kerry even called the expected confirmation an ideological “coup.” Let’s look at the courts’ progress from a traditionalist American standpoint. Among other things, over the past half century, the courts have been in the process of eliminating God and all religious displays and symbols from schools and the public arena under the guise of “separation of church and state.” Traditional marriage, the foundation of the family in this country, is being redefined to include same-sex “marriage.”

The eminent-domain provisions of the Constitution have been expanded to allow the seizing of a citizen’s private property by another person or local government for just about any reason. Additionally, the courts have accorded rights and benefits to illegal aliens and terrorist prisoners caught on the battlefield that are meant by the Constitution to be given only to U.S. citizens.

Furthermore, the courts have been granting more rights to criminals than to their victims, such as giving lenient sentences, which enable felons repeatedly to commit crimes against society upon their release.

Citizens’ rights to bear arms under the Constitution have been under attack by the courts, and the federal government has been granted permission by the courts to intrude into those areas reserved under the Constitution for the states and the people themselves.

With respect to abortion, the courts have given a woman the right to abort her unborn baby, while they have ignored the unborn baby’s right to live. The courts have allowed abortions to take place even during the process of delivery (partial-birth abortions). Parental rights to give consent or even be notified when their underage daughter seeks an abortion have been prohibited or severely limited.

In my opinion, we need many more Samuel Alitos sitting on the bench to bring back sanity to the activist, liberal judiciary system. The type of judges liberal Democrats are seeking will cause this nation to continue to spiral further downward and more out of control until one day, this nation will collapse from the destruction of the moral and legal foundation upon which it was built.

JOHN A. MALAGRIN

Baltimore

Don’t be evil

I disagree with Jay Ambrose (“Google sells out,” Commentary, yesterday), who takes the rhetoric over the top in attacking Google and thinks that using Google has become like dancing with the devil. Mr. Ambrose offers a far too idealistic account of Internet use in China, particularly when he concludes that “leaders of these high-tech companies offer China something it needs, and by standing firm, by being tough, could conceivably have bent China more toward responsible, civilized behavior as it moves ahead to superpower status.”

Local Chinese Internet companies would be willing to comply with the restrictions of the Chinese government, so if Google took the principled stand Mr. Ambrose wants, the result would be Google closed out of China, not China open to free Internet searches. If Google renounces its China deal, it will be closed out of a huge, growing market. This is like asking a company to commit corporate suicide. Google doesn’t have the bargaining power Mr. Ambrose believes it has.

Google should not get such a bad reputation for conceding to local regulations in order to do business in a foreign country. All companies do that. It’s just more pronounced with Google’s service. Ultimately, though, it is not the responsibility of a private company to try to effect political change in other countries. Really, what would we say if a private company were trying to exert such an influence in other sovereign nations? Google has every right to enter into the market in China, and on the terms required. It should not be castigated for complying with policies with which certain commentators disagree.

JENNIFER WILLIAMS

New York

Gender equality in sports

Phyllis Schlafly’s Wednesday commentary (“Gender penalties”) makes the preposterous statement that “radical feminism rules” in college athletics departments and it is “censoring out” male teams. Her over-the-top rhetoric reflects the complete absence of facts on her side.

She is flat wrong, for example, when she claims that a complaint concerning unfair scholarship practices for female athletes filed by the National Women’s Law Center caused Boston University to eliminate its football team. The truth is, ‘s board of trustees ended the school’s football program because it was hemorrhaging nearly $3 million per year, had a losing record and could manage to fill just 2,000 seats in its nearly 15,000-seat stadium.

In addition, creating opportunities for women does not come at the expense of men, as Mrs. Schlafly suggests. In fact, a 2001 study by the Government Accountability Office found that men’s opportunities to participate in sports have grown — not shrunk — since Congress passed Title IX. At colleges and universities where sports such as wrestling have been eliminated, it’s not because of women. One major reason is because colleges choose to spend almost 75 percent of their budgets for men’s sports on football and basketball.

Gender equity is not a zero-sum game, and those of us who pursue equal opportunities for men and women have never approached it as such. Instead, we fight stereotypes that limit educational opportunities for all students. We should stop pigeonholing our sons and daughters based on gender and instead focus on ensuring that all our students have equal access to a quality education.

MARCIA D. GREENBERGER

Co-president

National Women’s Law Center

Washington

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