There are two important items I want to share with you today.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the parental notification law in New Hampshire. We were closely listening to remarks made by the new Chief Justice John Roberts and were generally encouraged by what he said. Chief Justice Roberts questioned why Planned Parenthood claimed the law was unconstitutional without demonstrating that anyone had been adversely affected by it. Further, he questioned Planned Parenthoods objection to the whole law. He said, Why should you be able to challenge the act as a whole if your objection is so narrowly focused?
The outcome of the Courts decision on this parental notification case may be affected by the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito. If he is seated before the Court votes on this issue, Justice OConnors vote will not be counted.
Second, there has been a flurry of media attention on a newly released document that they say reflects Judge Alitos opinion on abortion. It is a May 30, 1985 memo from Samuel A. Alito to Solicitor General Charles Fried with the US Department of Justice. The memo includes Mr. Alitos recommendation regarding the Supreme Court case, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The 17-page memo included the following quotes by Samuel Alito:
By taking these cases, the court may be signaling an inclination to cut back. What can be made of this opportunity to advance the goals of bringing about the eventual overruling of Roe v. Wade and, in the meantime, of mitigating its effects?
Mr. Alito believed an incremental approach to correcting Roe would be the most successful. He said, It has most of the advantages of a brief devoted to overruling of Roe v. Wade; it makes our position clear, does not even tacitly concede Roes legitimacy, and signals that we regard the question as live and open. At the same time, it is free of many of the disadvantages that would accompany a major effort to overturn Roe.
You can access the entire memo (in PDF format) to read his full remarks.
Even with these pro-life quotes, pro-abortion activists may not be able to create enough controversy to stop Judge Alitos nomination. His 15-year record on the appeals court clearly demonstrates that he isnt a far-right ideologue on abortion.
I’ll keep you posted.