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Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005 08:36 am

Another corporate captive

It’s easy to tell whose side Samuel Alito is on

While liberal and conservative groups alike are poring over the record of Judge Sam Alito to decipher where he stands on Roe v. Wade, who are those guys over in the shadows, grinning from ear to ear? Ah, those are the executives and lobbyists of corporate America, and they don’t care whether Bush’s new Supreme Court nominee even has a position on abortion. They’re all grins because they know that he’s a dyed-in-the-wool, tried-and-true, hardcore corporatist who can be counted on to favor big business over workers, consumers, environmentalists, shareholders, small competitors, and anyone else entangled in a court case against corporate power. After 15 years as a federal appeals judge, Alito has an extensive paper trail showing that he’s been a reliable and ardent champion of the corporate side in practically every case that comes before him. “We’re always happy to see Judge Alito on the panel,” says a Philadelphia lawyer whose firm represents some of America’s largest corporations. Indeed, in several big cases, Bush’s nominee has tried to prevent employees from suing corporations for sexual and racial discrimination, tried to protect monopolists from facing antitrust judgments, tried to stop environmental groups from suing polluters, and tried to reduce fines that corporate wrongdoers have to pay. As a beaming spokesman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put it, “He has come down on a host of issues in a way that the business community would prefer,” and adds, “This is not a guy who is going to go off the reservation.”
We already have a court full of judges who side with the corporate powers. It would be good for our country and for the workaday majority of Americans if we had at least one Supreme Court justice with the independence and integrity to go off the corporate reservation.
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