Conservatives Air Ads Praising Alito; Judge Backed Christmas Displays

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Hurt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Conservatives began airing two ads this week aimed at rallying support for the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. during the holiday season.

Committee for Justice, the group leading the fight to confirm President Bush's judicial nominees, and the conservative Catholic group Fidelis are running ads on the radio and the Internet.

"This season is a special time when many Americans commemorate our Judeo-Christian roots," said Fidelis President Joseph Cella, whose organization is running an Internet ad that it says will air later on radio. "So, while we prepare for our celebrations and give thanks for our treasured religious freedom, we unfortunately have to prepare for those freedoms to be attacked by the ACLU and their allies. These same allies are fighting to topple the nomination of Judge Alito."

Mr. Cella accused the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal organizations of attacking judicial nominees such as Judge Alito "over their 'deeply held' Catholic and Christian beliefs."

The ad focuses on Judge Alito's 1999 decision in ACLU v. Schundler in which the ACLU petitioned that the Jersey City, N.J., city hall be barred from displaying its Christian Nativity scene alongside a Jewish menorah. The group said the display violated the First Amendment's bar on an establishment of religion.

"Judge Alito ruled against the ACLU's attempt to scrub away our religious heritage," says the ad, referring to his decision to allow the holiday displays to remain. "Judge Alito used common sense and applied the law - the kind of common sense that every American needs on the Supreme Court."

Committee for Justice also began airing in Colorado, Wisconsin and West Virginia its second ad on the Alito nomination, titled "Religious Freedom. …