December 02, 2005

Alito's hidden quest to mitigate and eventually overule Roe vs Wade

Update 12/1/05 - Alito's credibility seriously in question now after he failed to cite a case for which he submitted a 17-page abortion-strategy memo.
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    "What can be made of this opportunity to advance the goals of bringing about the eventual overruling of Roe v. Wade and, in the meantime, of mitigating its effects?" he asked in the memo concerning a Pennsylvania case before the Supreme Court, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
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Gallup poll shows most oppose overturning Roe vs Wade
  --"If it becomes clear Alito would vote to reverse the abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, Americans would not want the Senate to confirm him, by 53% to 37%."
Judge Alito on Wives as Children
  Justice O'Connor's strong reply to Alito's dissenting opinion in "Casey."
Boston Globe on Alito's conflict of interest
  "Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. ruled in a 2002 case in favor of the Vanguard mutual fund company at a time when he owned more than $390,000 in Vanguard funds and later complained about an effort to remove him from the case, court records show -- despite an earlier promise to recuse himself from cases involving the company."
    Update 11/8/05 - The Washington Post reports that Alito is telling senators he is conservative about overturning precedent for decisions that have been repeatedly upheld.  Will this upset the anti-abortion groups and/or is he just telling pro-choice senators what they want to hear?
    Update - 11/14/05 - Alito's primary pro late-abortion ruling was a requirement rather than his choice though reporters usually fail to mention this, citing it instead as indication he would be flexible where he could make the standard rather than have to follow it.
       In his concurring opinion re Planned Parenthood NJ vs Farmer (Yr 2000), given in place of joining the majority, Alito said, "I do not join Judge Barry's opinion, which was never necessary and is now obsolete.  That opinion fails to discuss the one authority that dictates the result in this appeal, namely, the Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, 2000 WL 825889 (U.S. June 28, 2000).  Our responsibility as a lower court is to follow and apply controlling Supreme Court precedent."
        Note that this should not be used to indicate how he will rule if on the Supreme Court, which does not have to respect precedent and Can overturn previous rulings.
    Update - 11/14/05 - Alito wrote that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion (Yr 1985).
        "...it has been an honor and a source of personal satisfaction to me serve ... and to help to advance legal positions in which I believe very strongly. I am particularly proud of my contributions in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion."

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