Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This is very bad for Judge Alito. Not only did he tell Ed Meese that he believes very strongly in the legal position that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, but he tells Dianne Feinstein that he didn't mean what he told Meese--that he was just telling a powerful person who controlled a job he wanted what he thought that powerful person wanted to hear.

Ezra Klein writes:

Ezra Klein: Any Questions?: Well, this should pretty much end debate on Alito's true leanings:

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.[...]

"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."

UPDATE: Judge Alito tells Senator Dianne Feinstein not to take the memo seriously: back in 1985, Alito says, he was simply saying what he thought would please a powerful person who controlled a job he very much wanted to have:

CNN.com - Feinstein: Alito backs away from memo - Nov 15, 2005: "What [Alito] said was, 'It was different then. I was an advocate seeking a job. It was a political job,'" the California Democrat said. She said Alito said 1985 was a "very different" time, when he was an advocate for the Reagan administration. As a judge for 15 years, he looks at legal matters differently. "I don't give heed to my personal views. What I do is I interpret the law,'" she said, quoting the 55-year-old judge from New Jersey.

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