Banning the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional
On the Pledge of Allegiance case, the 9th Circuit, which includes 40 percent of the people in the United States, ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court sort of sidestepped the fundamental issue and sent that back to a lower court [on issues of the plaintiff’s standing], where the case was won. They’ve concluded, and the 9th Circuit law remains in effect, so that 40 percent of the population of the United States really are not able, if you follow that opinion, to render the Pledge of Allegiance. Yet, we have chaplains and “In God we trust” in the Senate chamber and those kind of issues.
I don’t believe that that is founded in the Constitution. I think the American people do not. And they are asking some real questions of us. That’s an overreach, in my opinion.
Source: Sam Alito Senate Confirmation Hearings , Jan 11, 2006
Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
- Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
- "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
- "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
- "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
- "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.
Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.