The Washington Post reports that members of the U.S. Senate are inclined to take very seriously Samuel Alito’s judicial opinion that “The Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion”:
Two key Republicans and some Democrats said yesterday that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. will be unable to assert during his confirmation hearing that his personal views have no bearing on how he might rule because he has stated legal opinions on contentious issues so strongly.
Alito’s comments on abortion, affirmative action and other issues in a 1985 memo went beyond personal musings, these senators said, and instead were stated as clear-cut legal opinions. One of those opinions was that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”
Alito’s 1985 memo, which was a bid for a promotion in the Justice Department, did not express “a personal view,” [Democratic Senator Charles] Schumer, a Judiciary Committee member, said in a floor speech yesterday. “It is decidedly a legal view which involves judicial philosophy and judicial reasoning.” At Alito’s committee confirmation hearing, to start Jan. 9, Schumer said, “he cannot, as previous nominees have done, say ‘I refuse to answer.’ “Some Republican defenders of Alito agreed.
[Republican Senator Olympia] Snowe, who supports abortion rights and is uncommitted on Alito, met with him yesterday and then addressed reporters. “He didn’t repudiate what he said” in the 1985 memo, she said.
Look, we’ve got the advantage of time: hearings won’t begin on the nomination of Samuel Alito for two months. That means that we have an opportunity now to begin to lay a foundation of public opposition to the Alito nomination and the anti-freedom agenda it represents.
With that in mind, I’ve set up an Anti-Alito Action Page, with links to readings regarding Alito’s positions, petitions in opposition to Alito, opportunities to fund on-air advertisements raising an alarm about Alito and liberty, and tools to write letters to the editor and to your Senators expressing your anti-Alito stance and the reasoning behind it. The page also offers anti-Alito messages on buttons, bumper stickers, magnets, shirts and postcards to help you spread the word of resistance to Bush’s latest ploy.