News Intelligence Analysis
Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Alito Thank-You Letter To Religious Right Leader Is Grossly Inappropriate, Says Americans United
New High Court Justice Should Follow Command Of Constitution, Not Dobson, Asserts Church-State Watchdog Group
Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito has sent a cloying thank-you note to Focus on the Family head James C. Dobson, a move Americans United for Separation of Church and State says is further evidence the new justice is firmly in the pocket of the Religious Right.
"Justice Alito should follow the commands of the Constitution, not the orders of Dobson and the Religious Right," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "This note strongly suggests that Alito is carrying out a right-wing agenda instead of being a justice for all.
"This is grossly inappropriate," said Lynn. "Alito sounds like a political candidate doing a victory lap and thanking his backers rather than being a fair and independent judge."
The Associated Press reported today Dobson received a six-paragraph personal note from Alito. In the letter, Alito thanked Dobson for backing his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Read the note, "This is just a short note to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the entire staff of Focus on the Family for your help and support during the past few challenging months. I would also greatly appreciate it if you would convey my appreciation to the good people from all parts of the country who wrote to tell me that they were praying for me and for my family during this period."
Alito went on to write, "As long as I serve on the Supreme Court I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me" and expressed his desire for a personal meeting with Dobson.
Dobson and other Religious Right leaders enthusiastically backed Alito's confirmation because they think he will restrict civil rights and civil liberties and rule against church-state separation.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.
Contact: Joe Conn, Rob Boston or Jeremy Leaming
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