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Friends of the Earth Opposes Alito Nomination

Posted Nov. 3, 2008 / Posted by: admin

Statement of Sara Zdeb, Legislative Director

Contact:  
Sara Zdeb, 202-222-0728
Dick Bell, 202-222-0742

Today, Friends of the Earth (FOE) joins our partners in the environmental community in announcing our opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito.  Our announcement marks the first time that environmental organizations have opposed a Supreme Court nominee since the 1987 nomination of Robert Bork—underscoring just how big of a threat we believe Judge Alito poses to our environment. 

When it comes to the constitutional questions that will determine the ability of Congress to pass environmental laws and the ability of citizens to access courts to enforce them, Judge Alito threatens to drive the Court in a decidedly anti-environment direction.

In the coming months the Supreme Court will decide two cases that could radically restrict our ability to protect the vast majority of the nation’s waterways under the Clean Water Act.  Judge Alito’s record indicates that he’s likely to side with those who oppose a strong Clean Water Act.  His record also bodes poorly for future cases challenging the Endangered Species Act and other important laws.

Judge Alito has also voted to shut courthouse doors to citizens concerned about their environment.  Citizen enforcement suits are an indispensable feature of every major environmental law, empowering ordinary Americans to sue polluters when government lacks the resources or political will to enforce the law.   In one case, Judge Alito held that FOE and other environmentalists lacked standing to sue a polluter—even though it was uncontested that the company had violated the Clean Water Act 150 times.

Judge Samuel Alito has been nominated to fill the seat of Justice O’Connor, an important swing vote who often tipped the Court’s balance in favor of protecting our environment.  Too much hangs in the balance to entrust a lifetime appointment to Judge Alito, who could tip the balance against our environment.  We look forward to working with our allies in the Senate, other outside groups, and concerned citizens around the nation to defeat this nomination.

Take Action!

Fact Sheet: Alito's failure to address concerns about his record on citizen enforcement of environmental laws

Excerpt: Alito’s hearing transcript

Fact Sheet: Nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Threatens Environment

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