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December 01, 2005

Alito and Abortion

The Washington Post does it's best to help the waning liberal opposition to the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court with a front-page story declaring that as a Justice Department lawyer in the Reagan Administration he helped craft a legal strategy for overturning Roe vs. Wade.

The big news here is that there is no really big news. Judge Alito worked as a staff attorney in the Justice Department for a pro-life President. Part of his job would be to help argue cases before the Supreme Court representing the position of the administration which he served.

What was the extent of Alito's contribution to this so-called legal strategy? He suggested that the Justice Department file a brief in the case of Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists which dealt with a Pennsylvania law placing a number of restrictions on abortion. The Justice Department was not directly involved in the case before the Court. Judge Alito was merely suggesting the filing of a brief showing the administration's support for the Pennsylvania statute. Such briefs are commonly filed by any number of interested parties in cases that are heard before the Supreme Court as a way to present their support for a particular position in the case.

The article goes on to state that Alito didn't even write the brief but merely provided some of the legal reasoning that went into the brief.

This hardly seems to be as damaging a revelation as the Post article makes it out to be. Instead, it appears Alito was just another lawyer who was doing his job: arguing the position of the President he served.

Posted by Tom at December 1, 2005 11:55 AM

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