College students held a honk and wave rally Wednesday afternoon in front of the old Capitol building to protest against the possible confsirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court.
15 volunteers for Political Organizing Powers of Moving United Students in Communities held up signs saying “Don’t Let Alito Slide Home,” “Alito, You’re Out,” and “Don’t Let the Right Get a Grand Slam.”
POP MUSIC is a coalition of progressive college students in Florida who are intent on promoting social justice and safeguarding civil rights and liberties. The coal ition is a project of People For the American Way.
The baseball-influenced theme of the rally was “Alito- Bush’s Third Strike Against Our Rights!”
The volunteers dressed in yellow T-shirts and black caps, except for two volunteers who dressed as an umpire and a judge.
As the volunteers yelled chants like “Honk for Justice” and “Veto Alito,” cars, including a couple of Mack trucks, honked their horns.
Natasha Mitchell, 21, a fourth-year pharmacy student from Jacksonville, is the spokeswoman for POP MUSIC. Mitchell said Alito’s views against civil liberties such as women’s rights and discrimination are the reason for the protest.
“We are publicly opposing the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court because he does not represent the legal views upon which our generation has come to depend,” Mitchell said.
Showing support for the rally was Reginald Mitchell, Florida legal counsel and Tallahassee director of the People for the American Way.
Reginald Mitchell gave various examples of why Alito is not the right choice for the Supreme Court, such as his allowing the police to strip search a 10-year-old and her mother.
He said Alito is very young and his decisions on the Supreme Court can have an impact on the country for the next 40 years.
“It’s very concerning that a person with these kinds of sentiments gets on the Supreme Court,” Reginald Mitchell said. “(He) can change our basic civil rights.”
Reginald Mitchell believes it is important for young people to get involved in this process. He said that legislators, particularly U.S. senators, will take more interest from young people.
“If they hear from young people, they might take an extra ear or two to their concerns, so it’s real important,” Reginald Mitchell said.
One of those young people is Freddrick Simmons, 21, a third-year political science student from Hernando, Fla. Simmons said that it is very important to college students to be involved in the process of any Supreme Court nomination.
Simmons said Alito could set back decades of civil rights and women’s rights legislation.
“Being a student at an HBCU, you should be the first person out there arguing against this particular nominee,” Simmons said.
President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court Oct. 31. Judge Alito sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The 55-year-old judge has held the position for the past 15 years, after being appointed by George H. W. Bush.
Current Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has decided to step down from the Court after 24 years. O’Connor has been a swing vote on issues such as abortion and affirmative action.
This is Bush’s second nomination to the Supreme Court this year. Bush successfully nominated John Roberts to Chief Justice after the death of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
People For the American Way is a national nonprofit nonpartisan social justice organization, according to a PFAW press release. The organization is in direct opposition to the Christian right, according to http://www.pfaw.org.
Contact Emanuel Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org