In 1964, thousands of students from across the country traveled to Mississippi and other Southern states to register and mobilize African American voters in unprecedented numbers. It was the famous 1964 Freedom Summer of the Civil Rights Movement that focused the nation's attention on the injustices of racial bigotry and hatred.
Now with the threat to turn back the clock on Title IX, Access to Abortion, Birth Control, Affirmative Action, the Civil Rights Acts, Voting Rights, and other gains for women and people of color, it is time to once again mobilize a massive student campaign--this time to save women's rights and civil rights.
On January 9, 2006, Judge Samuel Alito's Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Alito's Nomination Can AND Must Be Stopped! Judge Alito has been very clear in his writings that he does not support “racial and ethnic quotas,” which is code language for being against affirmative action. His disdain for Americans' constitutional right to privacy extends even to allowing the strip search of a 10-year-old girl. Not only could he very well be the decisive vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, his vote could roll back sex and race discrimination law and undermine important legislation such as the Family and Medical Leave Act.
What are we doing?
- Calling our senators to let them know we do NOT support Alito and we want them to vote against his nomination.
- Asking everyone we know to call their senators to vote against Alito.
- Visiting our senators on Capital Hill to ask them to vote against Alito.
- Holding press conferences about our opposition to Alito.
- Activating every community we can find to spread the word about the Freedom Winter and to STOP ALITO.
Why are we doing it?
- A woman's fundamental right to determine when and whether to bear children will be in real trouble if we replace Sandra Day O'Connor with a Supremee Court justice who demonstrates such obvious hostility to our rights. Judge Alito would likely be the 5th vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, because his dissent in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey shows that he is willing to stand alone in attacking a woman's right to reproductive choice.
- Even with the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, it is expensive and difficult for a waomn or person of color to bring a successful action alleging employment discrimation to court. In several strong dissents, Alito advocated making it easier for judges to dismiss these cases before they ever get to a jury, by setting up higher and higher hurdles for victims to meet before they even get a chance to prove their case to a jury of their peers.
- If Judge Alito's positin had won the day in Doe v. Groody, police would have unfettered freedom to reinterpret the terms of search warrants. The fourth amendment guarantees the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and it should not be up to the discretion of a polcie officer how far to extend the terms of a search warrant. Furthermore, allowing a strip search of a woamn and 10-year-old girl who weren't even named in the warrant demonstrates a deep disregard for their privacy rights and bodily integrity.
- In D.R. v. Middle Bucks Area Vocational Technical School, Judge Alito demonstrated a complete misunderstanding of the devastating experience of sexual abuse on a young girl, in this case, a hearing-impaired girl, in a school estting where she should have been able to expect safety and security. This is another example of Alito's inclination to interpret civil rights statutes narrowly, depriving individuals of legal protections and of their day in court.
To get involved with this effort, click here: http://www.feministcampus.org/FreedomWinter06/