For Immediate Release

January 30, 2006

Alito Cloture Vote Strengthens Progressive Forces

Coalition Is Stronger for the Next Fight

The Senate voted 72 to 25 today to end debate on Samuel Alito and move to a full Senate vote on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, issued the following statement:

We lost on Samuel Alito today, but we will be stronger because of this fight. Progressives were strengthened by today’s battle.

Women’s groups, African-American groups, Latina groups, labor, and environmental groups have been fighting shoulder to shoulder against this nomination. Each battle over these reactionary Supreme Court nominees is making this massive progressive coalition stronger.

Millions of Americans called and emailed their Senators, urging them to save the Supreme Court for women’s rights, civil rights, environment protections, civil liberties, separation of church and state, disability rights, and to stop a Bush power grab. Today’s vote showed that this demand for Senators to stand on principle and vote for cloture was heard by a significant bloc of 25 Senators.

This is already more than the 22 Senators who voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts in September, and we expect the number of Senators who will vote against Samuel Alito tomorrow on the Senate floor to be nearly double the no on Roberts number of 22.

This fight lays the groundwork for a future filibuster of a right-wing Supreme Court nominee. This principled vote will only become easier as decisions by Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts demonstrate that they will work to drive the country back 40 years. And the threat of a filibuster will grow because these Senators were willing to step forward on the Alito nomination.

Tragically, not enough Senators stood up for women’s rights and civil rights by voting today to stop the confirmation of Judge Alito. But this fight shows that African-Americans, women’s rights supporters, Latinos, people with disabilities, and workers are not going to quietly lose their rights.



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