Friday, November 11, 2005

Give Alito a Chance

The Supreme Court nominee shows sensitivity to civil liberties by Harvey A. Silvergate

"Almost lost in the initial kabuki-style commentary is the fact that, to his credit, Alito has written opinions decidedly friendly to civil liberties. In 2004, he authored Shore Regional High School Board of Education v. P.S. , which held that a school district violated the Disabilities Education Act by failing to protect a student from intense bullying on the basis of perceived sexual orientation and lack of athletic ability. Alito's majority opinion in the 2003 case of Williams v. Price argued that state courts violated the constitutional rights of a black state prisoner who presented evidence that a juror had made derogatory remarks about blacks in a courthouse incident occurring just after the end of the trial. And his 1999 decision in Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark concluded that a police-department policy banning officers from wearing beards violated the First Amendment's free-exercise-of-religion clause."