Monday, October 31, 2005

Bush picks Scalito

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Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. "Scalito" was a nickname his law clerks gave him because of his similiarity in judicial philosophy to Justice Scalia.

It doesn't look good...

Case History: A dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 947 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1991), arguing that a Pennsylvania that required women seeking abortions to inform their husbands should have been upheld. As Judge Alito reasoned, "[t]he Pennsylvania legislature could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands' knowledge because of perceived problems--such as economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands' previously expressed opposition--that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion." Chief Justice Rehnquist's dissent from the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision striking down the spousal notification provision of the law quoted Judge Alito's dissent and expressed support for Judge Alito's reasoning.

Planned Parenthood vs. Casey basically tried to undermine the basic tenets of Roe vs. Wade. In fact, with the help of a last minute reversal of Anthony Kennedy, Roe vs. Wade was re-affirmed in three parts. Information about the case and its implicatons for SCOTUS and Abortion can be found in my post: Does the Miers nomination mean the end of Roe?

I didn't think it was fair to criticize John Roberts on ideological grounds because he represented himself so effectively as being non-ideological, and trustworthy. His qualifications were impressive, and he deserved to be Confirmed by an even wider margin than he was, in my opinion. It is difficult at this stage to discern the response that Samuel Alito warrants, or whether his ideology would constitute the extreme measures outlined by the Gang of 14... this might justify and enable a fillibuster.

Like I said in my previous post, with the Miers withdrawal the triumvirate of rock solid Conservative judges: Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas just became a quartet. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts is a very intimidating prospect for a considerable amount of time. Only Breyer, you feel, could possibly compete with that intellectual weight from one particular POV. Conservatives should be rightfully ecstatic. Like I repeatedly argued.... suddenly Harriet Miers doesn't seem so bad after all.

I also apologize for my sucky sucky short list, but I hope it helped set the legal landscape and context for this choice.

Listen to Scalito argue in front of the Supreme Court: FCC v. League of Women Voters of California. He argues that Public broadcasting doesn't have a right to editorialize.

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