Monday, November 14, 2005

Alito, 1985: 'Constitution doesn't protect a right to an abortion'

Well--what more do you want?


Fr. Larry Gearhart said...

I guess I'm more interested in what he believes today. 20 years ago I was an agnostic.

Anonymous said...

It's like Groucho Marx said... " I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member." Anybody that doesn't get an automatic filibuster from the Congressional liberals is questionable until proven otherwise in a decision from the bench.

Fr. Larry Gearhart said...

The article Alito backs away from 1985 abortion comments in USA Today obviously calls into question the hasty assessment based on the Washington Times article. But then, consider the source.

Mark Anthony said...
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Mark Anthony said...

The comments were part of an employment application for a job in the Reagan Administration. They merit as much weight as "I'm good with people." I don't doubt that Judge Alito is against abortion, but are there many people who really think it is a good idea? I'm more interested in his legal perspective than his personal one.

Fr. Larry Gearhart said...

Mark, your comment obviously applies to the question of whether Alito's 1985 statement can be treated seriously. It has no bearing on his recent renunciation of that position. It strikes me that "I don't give heed to my personal views, what I do is interpret the law," given in the context of his discussion about the 1985 interview, strongly suggests he is at least afraid of being associated with the anti-Roe position.

This fear does not augur well for the future, no matter how you slice and dice it.

Father Martin Fox said...

Wow, I'm not used to being the least cynical person in a political discussion, but there's a first for everything!

I'm not too concerned about Alito's distancing, and while his 1985 comments guarantee nothing, I do think they are grounds for hope.

Assuming Alito is as against abortion as we might want, his comments now, about the application, remain appropriate; because it remains true that what he thinks of abortion shouldn't be the issue. I.e., it doesn't need to mean he's selling-out or caving.

And -- in any case, do consider the source: Feinstein. Her comments do not demonstrate a renunciation on his part.

I agree with Mark that someone filling out a job application will put his best foot forward. But in the context, it tends to confirm Alito has been what we right-wingers call "hardcore."

Of course, let's see what else he might say, in the days ahead, or at the hearings. Agreed: what he says about Griswold, Doe, Roe, Casey, "privacy" and precedent, is key.

But I remained heartened, not discouraged.