Fasten your seatbelts! The Alito rollercoaster may have been chugging slowly along without any excitement — but that may have been merely the beginning of the ride. We’re headed for that first hill, and it’s a doozy.
The right-wing Washington Times scoops the lefty national papers with this report:
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, wrote that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion” in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times.
“I personally believe very strongly” in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.
Fuller context? You got it:
“It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan’s administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly,” he wrote.
“I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”
That sound you hear is a low chuckle, coming from me, as I anticipate the liberal reaction to that.
Of course, I look forward to reading the actual letter. But this seems pretty clear. It’s hard to imagine how it could be simply taken out of context — unless the Washington Times left out a sentence that said: “Just kidding!”
This is not some quickly corrected misquotation of a university faculty advisor. This is an opinion expressed in black and white. And the liberal interest groups are going to absolutely go through the roof.
Some anonymous Republican sounds unworried:
“We’re delighted to have a debate over judicial philosophy and the proper role of courts in America,” a Republican strategist said. “That’s a debate the Republican Party wins every time.”
Every time, you say? Is that so?
I was perfectly happy to get a strong nominee without a fight. But this tells me we will likely get that fight after all.
(Via Andrew at Confirm Them, who notes: “Well, this will certainly enliven the debate.” That, my friends, is the understatement of the day — and it’s not even 6:30 a.m.)
UPDATE: Also via Andrew at Confirm Them is this link to the document itself. The relevant language is at page 15 of 21.
UPDATE x2: Oddly enough, the L.A. Times runs what appears to be a largely fair and non-distorted news update on this revelation — together with (hold on to your hats) an actual link to the actual document! Nice job, guys.
UPDATE x3: More on the L.A. Times article here. There is one paragraph that bugs me.