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BASF Board of Directors Opposes Nomination of Samuel Alito to U.S. Supreme Court

January 10, 2006 - San Francisco — The Board of Directors of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) passed a resolution opposing the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Finding that his decisions fall outside the mainstream of positions taken by BASF on numerous issues, the board voted 23 to 2 to oppose the nomination. Two members of the Board did not participate and one abstained.

Specifically, the BASF board cited examples of Judge Alito's decisions in the areas of reproductive freedom and privacy; civil rights and discrimination; separation of church and state; civil liberties and limits on Congressional power as the basis for their opposition. The board found that his views on these subjects "are incompatible with existing precedents and by degrees, may deviate from faithful application of core tenets of the Constitution recognized by this Bar Association."

In a lengthy and detailed letter (75KBPDF) sent to Senators Feinstein, Specter, Boxer, and Leahy, the BASF board highlighted the cases, which were the cause of greatest concern, demonstrating the manner in which Judge Alito's decisions fall far outside the mainstream of accepted constitutional jurisprudence.

According to BASF President, Joan Haratani, "The BASF resolution opposing the Alito nomination was the outcome of exhaustive and thorough research which included a review of all of Judge Alito's opinions. The Alito vote could be the one that decides the future of many constitutional rights fundamental to our community.  Therefore, BASF knew that it could not be silent on this critical nomination."

Note: The Alito Committee was chaired by BASF President-elect Nanci Clarence and inlcuded Amitai Schwartz, Angela Padilla, Jeff Bleich and Doron Weinberg.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104