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Dick Durbin gets to start things off, and he starts by going into Brown v Board of Education and Griswold, saying that both rely on interpretations of the Constitution.
9:36 - He misstates Schumer's question. Schumer asked if Alito believed in a Constitutional right to an abortion. It's a small but important distinction. Alito notes that Brown is based on specific language in the 14th Amendment, and that Griswold isn't likely to come before the Court again. Abortion does not come up explicitly in the Constitution and will definitely come before the Court again. Durbin still doesn't seem to get it ...
9:47 - Durbin says that the government wants to "discourage" abortions, and reserve it for women whose lives are in danger. If we've had over 40 million women's lives in danger in 32 years, then America's females should escape our borders as soon as possible. As far as it being rare, what other medical procedures have been performed 40 million times over 32 years? Nose jobs?
9:55 - We moved from CAP and Alito's supposed animus against women and minorities to Bruce Springsteen to racial issues in the justice system. Durbin's segue is pretty lame ...
9:59 - Alito has to explain to Durbin that appellate courts should not revisit findings of fact in a case involving a plaintiff with limited mental capacity alleging sexual attacks -- and that the primary court issued a summary judgement for the defendant.
10:03 - More "crushing hand of fate" from Durbin, but Alito pops him at the end for cherry-picking the cases.
Thank goodness Durbin's off the air. The problem with the end of the first round is that it's mostly a replay of all the other Democratic inquisitions.
10:13 - Brownback pulls out the same displays he used for the Roberts hearing to show that Plessy was also a super-precedent, one that existed for 60 years.
10:16 - It's been five minutes since the last question. Brownback just wants to use his time to make speeches about abortion.
10:28 - Brownback gave Alito a great opening on religious freedom, talking about the case of a schoolchild whose depiction of Jesus got removed even though it fit within the parameters of an assignment he was given. Alito notes that when a school asks a question like "What are you thankful for?", it cannot restrict the speech of the students' responses based on their religion.Sphere It View blog reactions
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