- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 12, 2005

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Conservative activists in Iowa have served notice for 2008 presidential hopefuls: Oppose Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. at your own peril.

Several of the state’s most influential conservative groups called for fair hearings and a quick vote on President Bush’s nominee to the high court. “It is our hope that through this process you too will recognize Judge Alito’s impeccable qualifications and vote to confirm,” the groups said in a public letter.

The letter was addressed to potential Republican candidates. Among the signees were the state representatives from the Christian Coalition, Iowans for Tax Relief, Concerned Women for America, the Iowa Family Policy Center, Eagle Forum and Marriage Matters.

The activists made it clear they will be paying close attention to the vote on Judge Alito’s nomination.

“Please know that we have communicated with our constituents regarding this nomination and will continue to keep our statewide members informed of your stance on this important nomination,” they said.

Opposition from the conservatives would make it difficult for a Republican presidential candidate to compete in the state that holds the first caucus in January 2008.

Among the potential Republican candidates are Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, and Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and George Allen of Virginia.

“Our organizations are comprised of very knowledgeable and active members,” the activists said. “It is the judiciary’s responsibility to interpret law and uphold the Constitution. Judge Alito’s record shows he clearly understands and adheres to this constitutional concept.”

Confirmation hearings for Judge Alito are slated to begin Jan. 9, with a vote expected by month’s end.

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