The Facts Machine

"And I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide"

Monday, October 31, 2005


ThinkProgress gives us some background, and it's not pretty.

(UPDATE: The Rude Pundit: "Samuel Alito, Another Motherfucker For America.")

McClellan just said that they want to "avoid a confirmation battle" over Alito. Yeah. Right.


Confirming additional far-right judicial activists like Samuel Alito to the Court would threaten hundreds of Supreme Court decisions that protect privacy, civil rights, religious liberty, reproductive choice, clean air and water, worker rights, consumer safety, educational opportunity, and much more.
Alito took pains to distant himself from the longstanding constitutional requirement that abortion restrictions must have exceptions when a woman's health is in jeopardy. He did so when ruling on a law that effectively banned abortion as early as the 12th week of pregnancy and lacked an exception to protect women’s health. The health exception is a fundamental tenet of Roe v. Wade, and the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the need for the health exception this fall. Should Alito’s vote replace that of Sandra Day O’Connor, a fundamental right will likely be lost by next summer.

Alito has argued that significant restrictions on a woman's right to choose are constitutional. In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, Alito argued that all of the proposed law’s restrictions on a woman's right to choose – including a spousal notification provision struck down by the Third Circuit and, later, the Supreme Court – were constitutional. Alito dissented in part because he would have gone even further than the rest of the court.

Alito would uphold state laws that place significant roadblocks in the way of women seeking abortion care. Alito concurred with the majority’s opinion in Casey that concluded that “time delay, higher cost, reduced availability, and forcing the woman to receive information she has not sought,” although admittedly “potential burdens,” could not “be characterized as an undue burden.” This opinion practically ensures that he would never find any burden to be undue.
President Bush chose to placate the far right instead of appealing to the fair-minded values of the American people. But every American should have a voice in the nomination. As the Senate does its constitutional duty to consider Judge Alito’s record, we must all voice our concerns.

Alito is the far right’s choice. His record on Congress’s power to protect Americans and a woman’s right to choose give us a level of understanding as to why he was the far right’s choice. Our Constitution does not belong to one narrow ideology. It belongs to all of us.
And if you weren't convinced, here are our friends at the Family Research Council:
Family Research Council is very pleased that the President has followed through with his promise to promote a strict constructionist to the Supreme Court. There is every reason to believe that Judge Alito will make a fine Supreme Court justice and we look forward to his confirmation hearings.

"Judge Alito's record demonstrates the integrity, impartiality and commitment to the constitution that are absolutely vital for any judge expected to serve honorably on the Supreme Court," says Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council.
If it's good enough for them...

And now, the elected officials.

This is a needlessly provocative nomination. Instead of uniting the country through his choice, the President has chosen to reward one faction of his party, at the risk of dividing the country. Instead he should have rewarded the American people. America could have done better through consultation to select one of the many consensus conservative Republican candidates who could have been overwhelmingly approved by the Senate.
(no press release yet from Specter or Reid)


Landrieu (a member, if you recall, of the nuclear option compromise group):
Justice O'Connor should be succeeded by a justice who, like her, will inspire our nation and embody the fundamental American values of freedom, equality and fairness -- someone who will put the principles of law ahead of partisan ideology. Judge Alito's career of accomplishment speaks to his experience, but also raises questions as to whether he meets this standard and possesses the qualities necessary for a member of the nation's highest court.
In short, this is the "fuck you" nominee the hard right really wanted. Democrats should not shy away from a confirmation battle. The more the American people find out about Alito, the less likely they will turn on the Democrats for opposing him. Confirmation or no, this nomination is about throwing fresh, juicy, red meat to Bush's conservative base. If this nomination truly is being made from a position of weakness, then the Democrats should show Bush just how weak he is right now.


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