Environmental Groups Giving Alito a Thumbs Down

Both Daniel and Dave beat me to the punch on this one, but I think it’s worth noting: BushGreenWatch posted news yesterday that a coalition of nine environmental organizations is “working actively to defeat the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. as a justice on the Supreme Court.” The organizations all believe that Alito’s demonstrated willingness to restrict Congress’ power under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause signals a rough road ahead for environmental protection should he join the SCOTUS:

The urgency of this battle is underlined by two cases the court will decide by July, involving the constitutionality of the Clean Water Act. These cases have broader implications for the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws that protect the nation’s health and environment.

Both cases were brought by industry groups seeking to establish that Congress lacks the authority, under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, to protect streams and tributaries that flow into larger bodies of water. A second issue is whether Congress may protect wetlands adjacent to such streams….

These cases, notes Doug Kendall of Community Rights Counsel, “threaten to reduce by up to 99 percent the streams, rivers and other waters currently protected by federal law. If confirmed, Judge Alito could cast a deciding vote in these cases.”

The information on specific rulings by Judge Alito presents a pretty damning case. The fact that so many green groups are joining to oppose his confirmation is telling, too: that hasn’t happened since the Robert Bork nomination. While contacting my own Senators will simply be a waste of time and effort (Kit Bond and Jim Talent seem proud of there status as right-wing lapdogs), if you live in a state with a moderate Senator of either party, get those phones ringing…

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