Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Alito Will NOT Overturn Roe v. Wade

Conservative federal appeals judge Samuel Alito, the new Supreme Court nomination announced yesterday to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, is not as conservative as diehard Republicans and Democrats would have people believe. Touting a 15-year career on the Philadelphia-based US Courts of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, Alito seems decidely more qualified than Bush's failed Mier's nomination. His many decisions on the 3rd Circuit suggest he is more prone to follow precedent and court convention than rightwing radicalism.

Here are some concrete examples of his opinions:
  • 1991 - Voted to uphold a Pennsylvania law requiring women seeking abortions to notify their husbands. This law had many exceptions including spousal abuse and medical emergency. Using the Roe v. Wade standard, he disagreed that the law caused "undue burden" on the state and, though Alito considered it a poor public policy, believed it was "reasonable" under the Pennsylvania.

  • 1995 - Voted to invalidate Pennsylvania restrictions on publicly funded abortions for women who are victims of rape or incest. Alito and another judge came to this decision based upon federal policy trumping the state measures.

  • 2000 - Ruled that a New Jersey law banning late-term abortions was unconstitutional. Again, this was based on precedent, not his own personal views on abortion.

  • 1999 - Ruled that Muslim police officers in Newark could keep their beards for religious reasons.

  • 1993 -Voted for the right of an Iranian woman to seek asylum on grounds of fear of persecution for her gender and feminist ideas.

  • 2004 - Voted for the right of student newspapers to carry alcohol adverts as a matter of free speech.

  • 1998 - Ruled that a public display of a creche and menorah did not violate prohibitions on government endorsement of religion because it also included non-religious symbols including Frosty the Snowman.
Though I am sure more will come out, the startling revelation is that Alito is not what the radical conservative base wants nor is it as bad as the Democrats might want it to be. Regardless, it is very likely that the US Senate will have filibuster on its hands with this nomination, no matter how well-qualified and reasonably balanced. I predict Alito, like Roberts, will become more liberal on the Supreme Court, especially considering his heavy dependence on precedents.

Sources - AP, BBCNews


At 1:33 PM GMT-5, Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

Those who attack are declaring their "littleness" and turning away from the gift of "grandeur." See Our Holy Inheritance blog:



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