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November 30, 2005

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see also CNN/USA Today/Gallup 11/1, ame link from Polling Report:

"If you were convinced that Alito would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, would you, personally, want the Senate to vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court, or not?"

Confirm 37
NotConfirm 53
Unsure 10

Last week's New Yorker piece (doesn't seem to be on-line) about Roe cited Alito saying, iirc, that the anti-Roe arguments he made on behalf of the Reagan administration were the work he was proudest of doing in that administration.

Quick Google turns up this quote (via another blog) which may be what they were referencing:

"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."

He is going to have a hard time with this. It isn't enough to say that now, 20 years later, he has a greater respect for precedent. He is most likely going to dissemble like Clarence Thomas.

on the up-side, either (1) his nomination is defeated or (2) enough republican senators vote to confirm someone so out of touch with the american public on a key issue that we have absolutely NO excuse not to be able to re-take the senate.

emptypockets -

Unfortunately, I suspect that nearly all GOP senators will conclude that the risk for them of antagonizing the GOP base is greater than the risk of voting to confirm Alito (or even of voting for the nuclear option).

This segues to the second "unfortunately," which is that the cost for them of a vote to confirm Alito probably won't come due immediately. In fact, he may follow his own advice and never vote outright to reverse Roe - just hobble it till it is a dead letter. That will make it hard for Dems to get traction against individual GOP senators for their Alito votes.

I hope the dynamic will shift enough to stop him, but I'm not optimistic.

-- Rick

Rick, I tend to agree, but am encouraged by that poll DemFromCT posted in the first comment: 53 percent saying they would not want Alito confirmed if they were convinced Alito WOULD VOTE to overturn Roe... it seems to me that regardless how he actually DOES vote, some well-managed theatrics during the hearings aimed at convincing those 53 percent of the worst -- well-founded or not (since I agree, his own past decisions indicate he is more likely to just chip away at it -- particularly his absurdist interpretation of "undue burden" as applying cumulatively to women as a class rather than to an individual woman!) -- I guess I'm hoping they'll turn Alito into a Roe bogeyman. But you're right, there's the distinct possibility it may only (1) rally their base and (2) be forgotten by the time elections come around if he hasn't done anything outright dastardly to live up to it by then.

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