WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Lindsey Graham’s questionable coaching of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito should be embarrassing to the Republican juggernaut massed behind Alito. Now there’s word of another screw-up.
People for the American Way is reporting that Republican leaders in Congress have had to pull a pro-Alito witness to avoid GOP humiliation.
Cathy Fleming, who worked for Alito when he was U.S. attorney in New Jersey, was scheduled to testify for him tomorrow. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback had put a letter from her into the record just to show Alito isn’t biased against individuals’ rights in favor of those for business and government.
Brownback mentioned Fleming at the hearing, noting, “And then here’s a letter from another individual who worked with you, Cathy Fleming, life-long Democrat–president-elect, National Women’s Bar Association–gives an unqualified endorsement of you. And she says, “But by providing my credentials as an outspoken women’s rights advocate and liberal-minded criminal defense attorney, I hope
you will appreciate the significance of my unqualified and enthusiastic recommendation of Sam Alito for the Supreme Court.”
Sounds good, but. . . Oops! Fleming’s group, actually called the National Association of Women Lawyers, had examined Alito’s “writings, including his judicial record” and found the judge “has shown a disinclination to protect or advance women’s rights.” The group also said Alito’s “jurisprudence in the area of women’s rights has not been restrained,” that “he has too often engaged in strained legal reasoning to effect a narrowing of women’s rights beyond the intent of statutes and precedent.”
NAWL’s conclusion on Alito: “Not qualified.”
Cathy Fleming’s name has since disappeared from the witness list, says People for the American Way.