Among Sen. Teddy Kennedy’s many complaints about Samuel Alito, the one that caught the attention of Republicans today was his assertion that Alito is a racist.
"In Alito’s 15-years on the bench, Judge Alito has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color who alleged race discrimination in the workplace."
Moments later, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R.-Ala.) took Kennedy to task, leaving the liberal Massachusetts senator shaking his head.
Sessions cited three cases in which Alito demonstrated that "all Americans receive equal protection of the laws, regardless of race."
U.S. v. Kithcart: In this case, Alito said the Constitution doesn’t allow police officers to racially profile black drivers. His opinion, citing a violation of the 4th Amendment, stated: "The mere fact that Kithcart is black and the perpetrators had been described as two black males is plainly insufficient. … Officer Nelson could not justifiably arrest any African-American man who happened to drive by in any type of black sports car."
Brinson v. Vaughn: Alito ruled that the Constitution don’t allow prosecutors to exclude black jurors. In his ruling, Alito granted the prisoner’s habeas petition. He said the Constitution guarantees "that a state does not use peremptory challenges to remove any black juror because of his race. Thus, a prosecutor’s decision to refrain from discrimination against some African-American jurors does not cure discrimination against others."
Zubi v. AT&T: Alito authored the lone dissent in which he called for an expansive view of civil rights laws. In this case, the plaintiff sued his employer for firing him on the basis of race. While the majority ruled against the plaintiff’s claim based on the time it had taken him to bring his case, Alito rejected that argument. The Supreme Court later vindicated Alito’s view in a unanimous decision.
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