Citing the importance of business participating in Supreme Court nominee debates, rather than letting only social issues decide the outcome, The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation's largest industrial trade association, announced that it supports the confirmation of Judge Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The announcement, made yesterday, follows NAM's support of John Roberts earlier this year.
"In reality, the vast majority of non-criminal cases before the federal courts relate to business issues such as contract law, employment law, regulatory issues, and property rights," NAM President John Engler said in making the announcement. "We have an interest in this confirmation and we intend to participate in the debate." Engler and NAM held a similar position during the Roberts confirmation process.
On the Alito nomination, Engler said, "Judge Alito clearly has one of the most distinguished records of any nominee to the Supreme Court in our own time or any other time. After an exhaustive review of his opinions and decisions, it is clear to us that he will be a Justice committed to interpreting the law as written, not an activist who will try to legislate from the bench. Business depends on a legal system that is fair and predictable."
The decision on Alito, like that on Roberts, was made by the NAM's Judicial Review Committee comprising senior executive officers and general counsels of large and small NAM member companies. The committee reviewed Alito's record according to five criteria related to his intellect, experience, integrity, judicial temperament and understanding of the consequences of judicial decisions on business issues.