Conservative Women Unite to Support Alito

WASHINGTON – As hearings approach on Monday for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and with abortion sure to be a major theme, women from leading conservative groups came together Thursday in the nation’s capital to give the Supreme Court nominee their support.

Those who spoke at a press conference, dubbed “Women for Alito” at the National Press Club, said that the judge was experienced and well qualified for the post, adding that those opposing his confirmation were going against the will of most Americans and the Constitution.

“We feel called once again as women to stand in opposition to the shrill radical women’s organizations set to destroy Judge Alito, John Roberts and frankly any other nominee President Bush introduces,” said Connie Mackey, Vice President for Government Affairs at the Family Research Council.

The drive to influence the debate over Alito’s confirmation has kicked into high gear this week as groups on both sides have been increasingly vocal. One conservative effort will unite Christians at a “Justice Sunday III” rally this weekend to be broadcasted nationally on Christian media outlets.

While some liberal groups have acknowledged Alito’s knowledge of law and experience – he has written over 300 opinions in 15 years as an appellate judge – they say that his view of the constitution is one that will set back civil liberties and women’s rights with respect to abortion.

Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel for Concerned Women For America, dismissed those concerns as tired statements repeated during past nominations of judges.

She noted that the National Organization for Women, a liberal feminist group, has protested the nominations of various judges on claims that they would roll-back abortion rights.

“'Stop Souter or Women Will Die,'” she quoted NOW as saying in opposition to Supreme Court Nominee David Souter. She also pointed to NOW’s website, which says Alito will eventually overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision that nationalized abortion.

“The left has cried wolf far too many times,” she said.

LaRue predicted that Alito would become the Supreme Court's next associate Justice with senators voting along party lines.

For Alito to be confirmed, the 18 member Senate Judiciary Committee must first vote to approve him with a simple majority. It currently has 10 Republican senators and 8 Democrats.

Then the full senate - where republicans also have a majority - will vote. The final step is a signature by the President.

In attendance at the press conference were Jan LaRue, CWA; Jane Abraham, Susan B. Anthony List; Mary Ellen Bork, Women for Faith & Family; Kelly Ann Conway, Polling Company; Kay Daly, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary; Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List; Connie Mackey, Family Research Council; and Patricia Paoletta, Republican National Lawyers Association.