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Congressional Black Caucus to oppose Alito nomination

[JURIST] The Congressional Black Caucus [official website] is expected to announce Thursday its opposition to the confirmation of US Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. [official profile; JURIST news archive]. The Caucus is made of 42 Democratic House members and Sen. Barack Obama [official website], who said he has not yet decided on whether he will vote for Alito. Caucus Chairman Rep. Mel Watt [official website] said its members were concerned with opinions by Alito, many of them dissenting, that had a disproportionate impact on blacks. Watt called Alito's judicial philosophy at odds with 20th century constitutional jurisprudence. The Caucus' opposition comes as Sen. Patrick Leahy [official website], the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter [text] to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, urging the Justice Department to release additional documents on Alito's career that were withheld under exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act. Committee Chairman Arlen Specter [official website] said the committee will subject Alito to tough questioning [Washington Post report], which will likely include more questions than were posed to Chief Justice John Roberts during his hearings in September. Confirmation hearings for Alito are scheduled to open Jan. 9. AP has more.

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