|Nov. 1, 2005--A luncheon honoring Bruce S. Gordon, the new president
and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
(NAACP), provided the occasion for a minor bit of sparring between the
national party chairs. All of the speakers reflected on the life
of Rosa Parks who was honored at a memorial service on Monday. DNC
chairman Howard Dean, for example, devoted most of his remarks to reading
a letter he had written to his daughter on that subject. However
he also made a pointed criticism of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee,
Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., citing in particular Alito's dissent in a death
penalty case involving a black defendent and questions about jury selection
(Riley v. Taylor >).
RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, who followed Dean, did not respond directly to
Dean's remarks about Alito, but instead focused on his party's ongoing
efforts to reach out to African Americans (remarks).
Gordon expressed concerns about the Alito nomination, announced Monday,
but said that the NAACP is still examining Alito's record.