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The Bar Association of San Francisco Criticizes the Confirmation of Samuel Alito, Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court

January 31, 2006 - San Francisco — "Judge Samuel Alito's confirmation as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court marks a sad day in the history of the U.S. Constitution," said Joan Haratani, President of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF). "With Judge Alito's addition to the Court, we fear for the protection of a woman's right to choose, the separation of church and state, appropriate limits on executive power and the right of victims of discrimination to sue. We are extremely disappointed that the majority of the Senate voted to cut off debate before these troubling issues were more fully explored," continued Haratani.

BASF is on record opposing the nomination of Judge Alito to the high court. Following a careful review of Judge Alito's record on a wide range of constitutional issues, the Bar Association concluded that his views fall far outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence and are in opposition to important principles long recognized by BASF's membership. the Bar Association, including Amitai Schwartz, Angela Padilla, Jeff Bleich, Doron Weinberg and Nanci Clarence

According to Nanci Clarence, chair of the BASF committee that reviewed the Alito record: "We need a judge that will move us forward rather than backwards. At this crucial time in our country's history we need a Supreme Court Justice who sees what is at stake and supports protecting our rights, rather than restricting them. Judge Alito is not that person." The BASF committee was made up of a number of leading constitutional scholars and practitioners within .

On a more positive note, the Bar Association applauded the efforts of California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for vigorously opposing the nomination. "We were very pleased to see our Senators out in front on this issue because even when you lose it is important to see that you were ably and eloquently represented. Our Senators heard the voices of their constituents and made us all proud to be Californians," said Martha Whetstone, Executive Director of BASF.

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