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Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Alito and Abortion
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 5:45 pm

Via the CSM: On abortion, a nuanced stand

For example, of the four abortion cases in which he participated as an appeals court judge, he voted on the pro-choice side in all but one. A 1995 Alito vote striking down a Pennsylvania abortion restriction in particular is raising eyebrows among some legal scholars.

“That [1995 case] strongly seems to indicate that Alito is not a policy-driven true-believer who’s used every possible opportunity to advance one side’s preferred outcome, but instead a judge who has indeed come down on both sides, in different cases,” says David Garrow, a constitutional historian and expert in reproductive rights cases at the high court.

What a concept.

Here are the cases:

His four abortion cases include:

• A 1991 challenge to a Pennsylvania law requiring married women to notify their husbands before seeking an abortion. The court struck down the restriction. Alito dissented.

• A 1995 challenge to a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking to use Medicaid funds to abort a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest to report the incident to law enforcement officials and identify the offender. Alito provided the decisive vote striking down the abortion restriction.

• A 1997 challenge to a New Jersey law that prevents parents from suing for damages on behalf of the wrongful death of a fetus. Alito ruled that the Constitution does not afford protection to the unborn.

• A 2000 challenge to New Jersey’s ban on so-called partial-birth abortions. Alito struck down the law based on a recent Supreme Court decision.

Really: how this paints a picture of an ultra-right-wing, extremist judicial activists is beyond me.

And, quoting his Casey dissent, you get a formulation that, it seems to me, is what one wants to hear from a Judge/Justice:

“Whether the legislature’s approach represents sound public policy is not a question for us to decide,” he wrote. “Our task here is simply to decide whether [the abortion law] meets constitutional standards.”

Indeed.

Filed under: Abortion, Courts/the Judiciary | |Send TrackBack

PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Alito, Parties and the Judiciary linked with [...] the idea that a Republican nominee might indeed be pro-life is hardly a shocker. Further, Alito’s record is hardly one of a crusade against abortion, and the testimony from his peers indicated t [...]
Eric the Red » scAlito-graphy linked with [...] Lets take a look at the record: Alito has only ruled against the Pro-Choice point of view once out of four cases before his court. That case overturned a Pennsylvania law requiring a woman to inform [...]

4 Comments »

  1. I agree, he sounds pretty mainstream and non-controversial to me, at least on the topic of abortion. I will admit I’m not up to speed on his other stances as of yet. People For the American Way and Move On don’t like him, though, so he’s OK with me.

    Comment by Mark Hasty — Tuesday, November 1, 2005 @ 6:18 pm

  2. […] Lets take a look at the record: Alito has only ruled against the Pro-Choice point of view once out of four cases before his court. That case overturned a Pennsylvania law requiring a woman to inform […]

    Pingback by Eric the Red » scAlito-graphy — Friday, November 18, 2005 @ 10:51 pm

  3. Perhaps this is a reason for those of us who are pro-life, and who are constitutionalists, to oppose this nominee (I opposed both of President Bush’s previous ones).

    Comment by Aakash — Wednesday, November 23, 2005 @ 7:22 pm

  4. […] the idea that a Republican nominee might indeed be pro-life is hardly a shocker. Further, Alito’s record is hardly one of a crusade against abortion, and the testimony from his peers indicated t […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Alito, Parties and the Judiciary — Sunday, January 15, 2006 @ 9:06 am

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