Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Alito's Wildness is far to the Right

Judge Alito is a radical, but so am I. He is a Republican and so am I. However, we are different when it comes to protecting our environment. He cares little for the wilderness, but I think it is the one thing worth protecting, because it cannot protect itself. The danger Judge Alito confirmation poses to our environment is his right-wing agenda. His narrow reading of the Constitution’s commerce clause would have all of us running around the country with automatic weapons shooting at all the spotted owls we can find. As a mountain biker, his radical views might also undo many of the protective measures Congress has provided for our trails and wilderness areas. This thought scares me. It also worries many others.

According to a Midland Daily News editorial, the impact Judge Alito would have on the environment could be huge and the senate owes us a thorough look into Alito’s record. The National Environmental Trust’s website also states concerns about Alito’s nomination. In fact, they outright oppose his nomination based on previous decisions. There are even more people standing up to the nomination. According to an interview with Cass Sunstein, Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence in the Law School at the University of Chicago, NPR’s Terry Gross asked if Alito was further to the right than his colleagues. The answer was undeniably yes. According to Cass, Alito is not a wildcard. He consistently writes opinions that lead to the right – way right. It is also not surprising to note that many of the longest standing environmental groups oppose Alito’s nomination. Principle of these groups is the Sierra Club. In a letter sent to the Judicial Committee chairmen – Senator Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy – the Sierra Club details their descent based on past opinions and declarations by Alito. Other groups in opposition are as listed: Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Earth Justice. It seems clear to me that these organizations, some who have been around for over a hundred years, might have something logical to say when it comes to the environment. However, there are those on the right side of the spectrum – who have only been around for three to five decades – who disagree with their opinion.

Jonathan Adler’s editorial in the National Review Online goes through each of the opinions the environmental groups claim to be solid ground when opposing Alito. After reading his article, I felt that Adler’s opinion that the environmental group’s opinion was all wishy-washy was not very solid. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find too many other opinions on Alito. The online world is fully of opposition stories or stories about his controversial nomination. Only on the White House website was I able to find a positive position on Samuel Alito and the environment: click here.

Overall, I believe that Alito would push less regulation onto our federal and protected lands. We’ve already seen what a lack of regulation can do to the safety of miners. So why would we choose less regulation when it comes to the safety of our environment. If you are a fishermen, hunter, hiker, nature photographer, natural scientist or someone who enjoys the quietness of the outdoors then you should email your Senator to VOTE NO on Alito.


Anonymous said...

Now I ask you, what is wrong with running around the forrest, shooting all the spotted owls I see?

Walker you should try it. There is just something so exhilerating about shooting an endangered animal. That and Spamwiches are my favorite things in the world.

walkert said...


You're right. I'm so quick to judge.

Spamwiches, eh? With dijon mustard, I hope...

Could you get us a picture?

Anonymous said...

I would however I cannot put a picture in here, sorry Walker.