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November 14, 2005
Game On Again

Just when the anti-Alito forces began to cast their nets elsewhere in hope of landing an issue, it looks like abortion may come back to the center of the debate. The Washington Times reports that Alito's application to join the Reagan administration explicitly states an opposition to abortion and Roe v Wade, creating the opening Democrats need to open that line of questioning at his confirmation hearing:

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times.

"I personally believe very strongly" in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.

The document, which is likely to inflame liberals who oppose Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, is among many that the White House will release today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

In direct, unambiguous language, the young career lawyer who served as assistant to Solicitor General Rex E. Lee, demonstrated his conservative bona fides as he sought to become a political appointee in the Reagan administration.

Republicans quickly pointed out that this was a political point of view, not a judicial opinion or even a scholarly effort on Alito's part. The document meant to assure Edwin Meese that the Reagan administration's policies matched up with his beliefs, making him a better candidate for the position of deputy assistant to Meese. Translating that to an overturning of Roe will take some argument, especially since Alito passed on opportunities to narrow abortion rights on three of four opportunities as a jurist.

Still, Alito wrote it and will need to speak to it when the hearings begin. This will delight the "liberal coalition" described by the New York Times, a collection of every Democratic special-interest group possible, as they will not have to work hard to generate some controversy and some contributions for their coffers:

A coalition of liberal groups is preparing a national television advertising campaign against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. that seeks to move the debate over his selection beyond abortion rights and focus instead on subjects like police searches and employment discrimination, several leaders of the coalition said. ...

In addition to the [Alliance for Justice], a liberal legal group that focuses on judicial nominations, the coalition includes the abortion rights groups Naral Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, as well as People for the American Way, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Sierra Club.

Last week, the alliance released results of a poll that highlighted elements of the judge's record unrelated to abortion that the liberal groups say could have greater resonance with moderate voters.

Among the issues raised by the poll was Judge Alito's support as a lawyer in the Reagan administration for an employer's right to fire someone who had AIDS. Another issue was a judicial opinion he wrote supporting a police strip-search of a suspected drug dealer's female companion and her 10-year-old daughter. Others included his votes as a judge against employment discrimination suits and an opinion overturning part of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Most of these have already been out as arguments against Alito, and have already been clearly answered as decisions to respect stare decisis -- which is what these groups want from Alito when it suits them (Roe being the main example). The rest look like straw-grasping, and with this new document coming to light, expect them to fall off the radar screen altogether. The abortion game is afoot once more, Watson.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 14, 2005 7:17 AM

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» A-A-Alito, the Right Stuff from Super Fun Power Hour
In what's sure to be a surprise for fans of activist judges, a document has been obtained that provides some insight into Judge Alito's opinion on the legal principles surrounding abortion. [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2005 8:00 AM

» Good News On Alito from The Strata-Sphere
UPDATE: Here is the story at Washington Times - and I added some links to pertinent posts at the end. END UPDATE Drudge is reporting in a splash headline (no link) on some good news on Alito: Alito rejected abortion as a right; paper shows persona... [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2005 9:08 AM

» Abortion Rights Groups Defend Alitos "Personal" Decisions from Point Five
With the White House set to release today documents from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library relating to the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., abortion rights groups from across America have come to the conservative jurists defense. [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2005 1:16 PM

» Alito: Constitution Does Not Protect Abortion from Donkey Stomp
In 1985, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito wrote on a job application that he had been proud to argue that the constitution does not protect abortion rights. According to Fox News: First reported Monday in The Washington Times, Alito said... [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2005 2:16 PM

» Alito: On Abortion Explodes the Battle from The Right Nation
Bill Sammon's scoop on the Washington Times fires up the battle - on the Right and on the Left - for the confirmation of Samuel Alito at the Supreme Court. in a 1985 document obtained by the newspaper, Alito wrote that "the Constitution does not prot... [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2005 4:49 PM

» Are you now, or have you ever been, a Conservative? from Small Town Veteran
Filibuster here we come! We're going to get our fight after all, and when it's over not only will we have a new Associate Justice but we'll be rid once and for all of the threat of 41 Senators being [Read More]

Tracked on November 14, 2005 7:15 PM

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