According to the Daily Princetonian, Judge Alito’s Princeton faculty advisor says that Alito thinks Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. [UPDATE: Or not. The story now has an appended correction. See the UPDATE below.]
The article is perfect example of burying the lede. The first sentence is this: “The senior thesis of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito ’72, which along with some 300 others was lost during the 1970s, resurfaced Monday when Alito’s thesis adviser provided a copy to the University.”
Oh yes — and he thinks Roe v. Wade was wrong:
In an interview with The Daily Princetonian on Monday, [McCormick Professor in Jurisprudence Emeritus Walter] Murphy said that Alito’s thesis was one of only about a half-dozen he kept over the years because of the quality of its scholarship.
“Sam just had to start from scratch,” he said. “I remember [the thesis] was very good. I’ve used it over the years in my work.”
Murphy, who has kept in touch with Alito over the years and has invited him to guest lecture in classes, also offered some impressions of Alito’s stances on key judicial questions.
Murphy said he and Alito agree that the 1973 landmark abortion-rights case Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.
“He is much more an Anti-federalist where state and national authority clash, more libertarian on issues such as gun control, and much tighter on some matters as the rights of the criminally accused than I,” Murphy said in an earlier email message.
“We, however, agree on other important issues, such as finding no constitutional barrier to bans on late term abortions and requiring spousal and parental notification of impending abortions.”
Are you really surprised? Maybe the recovered thesis really was bigger news.
Still, something tells me this story is going to get bigger play than just the pages of the Daily Princetonian.
(Via Howard Bashman.)
UPDATE: Hmmm. The story now appends a correction (thanks to commenter lex):
The original article mistakenly reported that Walter Murphy said he and Alito agreed that Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion-rights case, was wrongly decided. The error was a result of a misinterpretation of a statement Murphy made about his personal beliefs on Roe. In an interview Tuesday morning, Murphy said: “Sam and I have never talked about Roe v. Wade, that I recall.”
So: bury the lede, and get the story wrong. This person is headed for Big Journalism, there’s no doubt.