Chafee will vote against Alito
11:17 AM EST on Monday, January 30, 2006
By JACK PERRY
projo.com staff writer
PROVIDENCE -- U.S. Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee announced this morning that he will vote against the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.
He is the only member of the Republican Party so far to announce that he will vote against the conservative judge.
In a statement issued at a press conference this morning, the Rhode Island Republican said he was "greatly concerned" about some of Alito's philosophies.
Chafee described himself as a "pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-Bill of Rights Republican," in explaining his decision against Alito, the choice of fellow GOP President Bush.
Chafee noted that while Alito had "outstanding legal credentials," the judge's philosophy on certain issues, including the commerce clause, executive power and women's reproductive rights, influenced his decision.
The senator had said during his 2000 campaign that he would not vote for a nominee who did not pledge to affirm the landmark Supreme Court decision -- Roe v. Wade -- that legalized abortion.
Chafee had been under pressure as one of the last senators undecided on Alito's fitness for the Supreme Court. A Senate confirmation vote on Alito is due tomorrow.
His stance had drawn attacks from his opponents in both parties, underlining the incumbent's dilemma on difficult Senate votes in this election year. Chafee faces a primary challenge from Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey. Also vying for the seat are two Democratics: former Rhode Island Atty. Gen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Secretary of State Matthew Brown.
Chafee's fellow senator from Rhode Island, Democrat Jack Reed, announced last week he would vote against Alito.
Chafee had committed himself to help fellow Republicans break a last-ditch Democratic filibuster of the nomination. He re-affirmed that stand this morning.
-- With reports from Journal Washington bureau chief John E. Mulligan and the Associated Press
I'm not sure if he's the ONLY Republican Senator to vote against Alito, but I think so. He was also the only Republican Senator to vote against the invasion of Iraq.
Sen. Chafee's vote won't change anything, but I'm glad he's doing it. I'm opposed to Alito--mostly for his threat to Separation of Powers and civil rights issues--and it's good to see a Republican (or anyone!) buck the Party Line and vote his conscience. And he's MY Senator!
Way to go, Senator. Dad would be SO proud.
Have I told y'all how much I love this man? Oh. Yeah, I probably have.