Thursday, December 01, 2005

UPDATE: Abortion, The Courts, Alito

Supreme Court Hears Abortion Case

The New York Times's Linda Greenhouse discusses the first abortion case heard by the court in five years.

PHOTO: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times - Jennifer Dalven, at microphones, a lawyer representing abortion clinics, argued before Supreme Court justices Wednesday that a New Hampshire abortion law should be blocked in all applications.

"WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 - Well before the argument in a New Hampshire abortion case was over, the question that had drawn the crowds to the Supreme Court on a crisp Wednesday morning had an answer. No, abortion law was not about to undergo a major change in the hands of the new Roberts court, at least not yet.

The justices appeared to be in broad agreement on two propositions: that laws regulating teenagers' access to abortion must make allowances for medical emergencies; and that the New Hampshire law, requiring notice to one parent and a 48-hour waiting period, failed to do so.

The only dispute was over how to fix the problem, and even as to that question, there was some evidence of a consensus in the making...." Read More

ROBERT'S SEEK MIDDLE GROUND: Court Hears Appeal on Parental Notification of Abortion

Charles Lane of the Washington Post reports on yesterday's Supreme Court hearing:

" yesterday's argument, the justices appeared to be probing instead for a compromise solution, one that might give New Hampshire a chance to preserve its law for the vast majority of cases, while giving physicians and teenage patients a way out of the problem Breyer's question summarized.Leading the search for a middle ground was the court's newest member, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who repeatedly suggested that the court could send the case back to lower courts for a narrower challenge to the law as it applies to emergencies such as the one Breyer outlined...." Read more.


Amy Goldstein and Jo Becker of the Washington Post discuss a 1985 memo written by them Justice Department Lawyer Samuel Alito:

"As a Justice Department lawyer in the Reagan administration, Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. helped devise a legal strategy to persuade the high court to restrict and eventually overturn Roe v. Wade , the historic decision legalizing abortion.

In a memo disclosed yesterday that he wrote in 1985 as an assistant to the solicitor general, Alito recommended that the administration submit a brief to the Supreme Court, asking it to uphold a Pennsylvania law that imposed a variety of abortion restrictions and 'make clear that we disagree with Roe v. Wade.'" Read more.

THE UNKNOWN CANDIDATE: There is now no question about where Alito stands on 'Roe'--and on a whole slew of other issues concerning the rights of average Americans (vs. the government or corporations). Alito is NOT on the side of women's rights or citizen's rights. Years of progress for women, minorities, civil rights, and privacy rights will be put in extreme jeopardy--if not erased entirely--shoud Alito be allowed to sit on the bench of the highest court in the land.

1986-87 records of advice to IRS, FBI
By David G. Savage, Baltimore Sun

"As a lawyer in the Reagan administration, Samuel A. Alito Jr. advised the FBI that it had broad power to investigate government employees as security threats, even if they had no involvement in national security matters.

In another memo, he told the Internal Revenue Service that its lawyers may secretly record conversations with taxpayers, despite an American Bar Association opinion barring lawyers from secretly recording any conversation.

In both instances, Alito - now an appellate court judge and a Supreme Court nominee - interpreted the law in a way that gave more leeway to federal authorities. More

ACT NOW: Tell your congressmen you will not support them for re-election should they give a "pass" to this candidate for the Supreme Court.

Alito Sketched Strategy to Overturn Roe in '85 - Los Angeles Times


George F. Will of the Washington Post discusses how the late Henry J. Friendly, almost spared the nation the poisonous consequences of the Supreme Court's "1973 truncation of democratic debate about abortion policy." Interesting stuff for you abortion rights and legal eagles out there. Read more.


Dana Milbank of the Washington Post asks whether the chunk of marble that fell from the facade of the Supreme Court just above the figure representing order was perhaps an omen. Here's his answer.

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