.- As the U.S. Department of Justice continues to release more documents on Supreme Court nominee Samuel J. Alito, one new, and particularly interesting file--to both sides of the abortion debate--cites the judge saying that he did not believe the constitution protected a woman’s right to have an abortion.
National Public Radio reported that in 1985, while Alito was applying to be an aide to then-Attorney General Edwin Meese, he wrote that he was particularly proud of “contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court…that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."
While many pro-life advocates are seeing this as a good sign, others, on the so-called “right to choose” side, are suggesting that Alito should be disqualified for having such a strong stance against an issue which has split the nation.
Jay Sekulow however, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, said this morning that, “The fact that Judge Alito criticized the legal underpinnings supporting abortion as a constitutional right should not be used against him in the confirmation process.”
He stressed that there was ample precedent for confirming a nominee who has expressed his views about Roe v. Wade, saying that the statement “mirrors that of the late Supreme Court Justice Byron White, who was appointed by President Kennedy, and the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist."
Earlier this month, President George Bush tapped Alito to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor--often thought to be an important swing vote on important life and religious freedom issues.
Alito takes the place of Bush’s previous nominee, Harriet Miers, who withdrew from the running after confounding both sides of the political spectrum with her lack of public legal history on which Senators hoped to base an opinion.
So far, some 200 pages worth of the judge’s documents have been made available by the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Presidential Libraries.