Monday, October 31, 2005

Judge Alito's Mother: "Of Course He's Against Abortion"

From the Associated Press:

President Bush nominated veteran judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court Monday, seeking to shift the judiciary to the right and mollify conservatives who derailed his previous pick. Ready-to-rumble Democrats said Alito may curb abortion rights and be "too radical for the American people."

Drawing an unspoken contrast to failed nominee Harriet Miers, Bush declared that the appeals court judge "has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years."

Abortion emerged as a potential fault line. Democrats pointed to Alito's rulings that sought to restrict a woman's right to abortion. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Republican who supports abortion rights, said that Alito's views on the hot-button issue "will be among one of the first items Judge Alito and I will discuss."

Alito's mother shed some light. "Of course, he's against abortion," 90-year-old Rose Alito said of her son, a Catholic.

Alito, 55, newly installed Chief Justice John Roberts, 50, and the more than 200 other federal judges Bush has pushed through the Senate could give the Republican president a legacy far beyond his two terms.


So consistently conservative, Alito has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But while Scalia is outspoken and is known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered.


The jurist from New Jersey favors more restrictions on abortion rights than either the Supreme Court has allowed or O'Connor has supported, based on a 1992 case in which he supported spousal notification.

Bush called for confirmation by year's end, but Senate leaders said the vote may wait until next year.

Wasting no time, Alito went to the Capitol shortly after the announcement to meet with lawmakers. Accompanied by two of his children and Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist, Alito paused first to pay his respects at the coffin of the late civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks in the Capitol rotunda.

Specter said he would not ask Alito directly about whether he would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights ruling.

"There is a lot more to do with a woman's right to choose than how you feel about it personally," he said. Specter cited adherence to legal precedent in view of a series of rulings over 30 years upholding abortion rights.

With no sign of irony, Republicans demanded that Alito get a vote in the Senate — something they denied Miers.

"Let's give Judge Alito a fair up or down vote, not left or right," said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota.

Republicans who frowned upon Miers said Alito's selection was in keeping with Bush's promise to conservatives who helped elect him twice. "What I've been hoping for is we would get nominees with a paper trail so we can know their views," said Sen. Sam Brownback (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., a potential presidential candidate courting conservative voters.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called the pick "a grand-slam home run." Gary Bauer, a conservative activist who joined allies on the right to challenge Miers nomination, said, "Now with Judge Alito the battle is where it belongs; it's a battle against the president's avowed political enemies."

Alito, who was nominated to the appeals court by Bush's father, signaled his alliance with Bauer and other conservatives by speaking of the "limited role the courts play in our constitutional system."

Abortion-rights activists denounced the pick. "Now, the gauntlet has been, I think, thrown down," said Kate Michelman, past president of NARAL-Pro-Choice American.

"I believe this nomination is aimed at appeasing the most right-wing elements of the president's political base," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif.

Miers bowed out last Thursday after three weeks of bruising criticism from members of Bush's own party who argued that the Texas lawyer and loyal Bush confidant had thin credentials and no proven record as a judicial conservative.

What a joke: Republicans didn't want to give Miers an up or down vote because they didn't like her, but just four days later they're saying Scalito must get an up or down vote or else.

Fucking hypocrites.

It's nice to hear Scalito's 90 year old mother tell us the truth about his abortion views, however.

Kinda like a Connie Chung/Mrs. Gingrich moment.

Thanks for your blog. I'm reading it daily down here in the deep South.
You really need to change your title -- this post proves you have no basis in reality.

No conservative that I saw objected to an up-or-down vote on Miers by the Senate. We simply argued that the manifest unsuitablility of the candidate for the Court was grounds for withdrawing her nomination. But that was a presidential exercise of his put forth nominees to the judiciary, not a failure of the Senate to carry out its Constitutional function.

We would all have objected to any move to prevent a vote on the Miers nomination had it not been withdrawn. We simply would have advocated her rejection.
I wish what you say were true, rhymes with right.

But there was no way Miers was getting an up or down vote in the Senate for the very reason that enough Republicans AND Democrats would have voted for her and put her on the Court.

The right-wing, led in this case by the Frums, the Kristols, the Buchanans, and the Wills, did her in on TV and in the newspapers, making her sound like a village idiot rather than an accomplished lawyer who had headed a law firm.

Had she received an up or down vote, she probably would have been confirmed. Therefore, behind the scenes, the wing-nuts did their best to make sure she didn't get an up or down vote by hammering her in the press and whispering how bad her meetings with various senators had gone.

Frankly, demanding Alito get an up or down vote while ensuring Miers didn't get one, smacks of hypocrisy.
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