January 3, 2006

David Letterman and Samuel Alito

Carroll Andrew Morse

Last month, Colleen Nestler asked an Arizona court for a restraining order to protect her from talk-show host David Letterman. Here is the basis of the request, according to USA Today

[Nestler] wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after his show began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East.

Nestler said Letterman asked her to be his wife during a televised "teaser" for his show by saying, "Marry me, Oprah." Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time.

Judge Daniel Sanchez, who heard the case, shocked the world by granting a temporary restraining order against Letterman, but later quashed the order after a full hearing.

Now, suppose at a future time, Judge Sanchez is appointed to the Supreme Court. Would you consider this to be a fair representation of Judge Sanchez’s record...

Judge Daniel Sanchez ruled to make it more difficult for the mentally ill to be protected by restraining orders.
This is exactly the kind of "logic" -- logic that ignores the specific facts of a case -- that is being deployed against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Here is part of the text of the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary’s advertisement against Judge Alito, via the Annenberg School’s Factcheck.org website…
As a judge, Alito ruled to make it easier for corporations to discriminate.
The case referred to is Bray vs. Marriott, decided in 1997. After hearing the evidence, Judge Alito decided that plaintiff Beryl Bray had not proven that Marriott had discriminated against her. Bray only presented evidence of Marriott's failure to follow its internal notification procedures, not evidence of racial discrimination. Furthermore the employee promoted over Bray, according to evidence presented by Marriott, had stronger qualifications -- more training, experience at a larger hotel and experience supervising higher-ranking employees.

Judge Alito made it “easier for corporations to discriminate” only in the sense that he required that evidence of racial discrimination be provided before allowing courts to act upon claims of racial discrimination.