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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Who is Judge Alito?

He is a nominee for the US Supreme Court who, I think, will do considerable harm to this both women and men, and therefore to this country.

Thse most obvious harm is to women. I think he is a poster child for overturning Roe v. Wade, and with it the right to prvacy inherent in the Constitution. With the right to privacy gone, the right to not be spied on by the government - without oversight - will be gone; the right to express and opninion that is different from the current Administration rhethoric will be gone; the right to obtain contraceptives for a variety of reasons - usually Family Planning - will be gone; the right to hold pharmacists and the Board of Pharmacy accountable for unacceptable refusals to fill certain perscriptions, perscriptions that as far as I know only affect women, will be gone; the right to seek and get medical advice without hinderance will be gone; the right to have a confidentail relationship with your Doctor may be gone; I doubt that the Catholic Church would allow the confidentiality between Priest and Confessor to be gone - but it would be in a predicament because the right to privacy would not only exist for the confessor but for women as well (come to think of it how come none of us has jumped on this anomaly before?; and of course, the right to a safe legal abortion would be gone, and we would be back to the bad old days when abortion was not stopped but was not legal either.

In fact. none of the Privileges and Responsibilities provided for in the Constitution would work without and underlying Right to Privacy. I am struck by the reasons many organizations give for thei opposition to Alito:

NAACP: "(his) confirmation would cause a substantial shift in the Supreme Court's juristprudence on civil righs the detriment of the nation";

NARAL: "Samual Alito Jr. of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is an anti choice jurist. (He is ) called a "favote son of the political right" (and) would likely vote to eviserate or eliminate the protections of Roe as a member of the Supreme Court."

Note: The case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA v Casey was the result of a change in Pennsylvania's abortion law. This change/amendment required that minors seeking abortions must have the consent of one parent, and that married women notify her husband of her intention to get an abortion. The case went to the Supreme Court, and in a bitter 5-4 decision the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade. Judge Alitos was a member of the three judge panel for the Third Circuit; he dissented arguing that even more resrictions.

For the first time the Supreme Court imposed an "undue burden" test to state regulation.

Sierra Club: "Unfortunately Judge Alito's opinions and other statements, combined with a disturbing lack of candor since being nominated, show that Judge Alito cannot be trusted to protect protect (indidual) rights and freedoms."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State: "Replacimg Justice O'Connor with Judge Alito would fundamentaly alter First Amendment law and immediately put at risk many of the crucial protections for religious minorities that the Supreme Court has recognized and consistently enfoced iver the past sixty years."

The list goes on. Mostly negative. However, American Bar Association said he was qualified (not exactly a ringing endorsement).

For my part I think he lacks the intellectual vigor to use the law to tackle the tough questions. It is tough to sort through the thicket of human behaviors and find the applicable law that either supports them or denies them, and makes them punishable. It is the toughness that I think all Supreme Court Justices should have. I am not much interested in those who use that high office to give voice to their views; it is the view of the law that interst me. As I said, I do not think Judge Alito has that intellectual vigor.


Priest said...

The strategy, if you want to call it that by those opposing Alito, is weak. It's so weak I call it "The CAP Strategy Against Alito is a Byrd CAP Strategy"

On the issue that they attack, Alito seems very progressive based on his stewardship of the "Boundaries of Privacy in American Society" task force. Things must be looking mighty bad in the anti-Alito camp for this to be their strategy. It looks for all I can tell to be an effort to Bork him from within the republican party like Meirs. That's not going to happen, and it is telling of just how weak the argument against Alito is from those who oppose and are organized against his nomination..............................