National Partnership for Women & Families

Judge Alito's Answers on FMLA are Alarming & Wholly Inadequate," Women's Leader Warns

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — January 10, 2006 —

"We are deeply troubled by Judge Alito's testimony today on the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In response to several questions, Judge Alito argued that, in Chittister, there was no evidence of discrimination in personal sick leave practices. But there is compelling evidence in the legislative history that Judge Alito chose to ignore.

The National Partnership is the group that wrote the FMLA, and led the long fight to pass it. So we know that the FMLA is aimed at eliminating the gender discrimination that keeps women from being equal players on the job, and the discrimination that derives from stereotypes about women’s medical needs and caregiving role. Judge Alito utterly failed to address that reality, in his ruling in Chittister and in his testimony today.

Judge Alito owes Senators and the nation an explanation about why, in the Chittister case and so often during in his long career on the bench, he ignored, misread or cherry-picked facts and legal histories in order to rule against workers.

If he is confirmed for a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court, Judge Alito's views and biases would help shape our nation's law. There is strong evidence that he would rarely rule in favor of those seeking justice in the courts. That is not the kind of Supreme Court Justice that Americans want, or the nation needs."


Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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