by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pro-abortion Republican Sen. Arlen Specter is afforded the privilege of asking a nominee for the Supreme Court the first set of questions. With John Roberts, Specter went immediately to the issue of abortion. For Samuel Alito, don’t expect much difference.
Specter said he would ask the Supreme Court nominee about abortion but not on how he would rule if a case come up to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that’s meant more than 44 million abortions.
"You may be sure that that will be among the first items that Judge Alito and I discuss, although I’m not going to ask him how he’s going to rule on any case," Specter said.
"We’ll be interested in Judge Alito’s views on following precedent," Specter added.
"He (Alito) said in a very brief statement he has worked hard to follow the precedents of the Supreme Court and there’s a lot more to the issue of a woman’s right to choose than how you may feel about it personally," Specter added.
However, during the Senate hearings on John Roberts’ nomination, Roberts said he respected Supreme Court precedent but also laid out scenarios when he thought long-standing precedents could be overturned.
Pro-life advocates expect Alito to lay out a similar position when he’s questioned.
"The Judiciary Committee you can be assured will give Judge Alito’s nomination a very, very thorough review," Specter told reporters.
Meanwhile, after meeting with Alito for more than an hour today, Specter said the federal appeals court judge supports the notion of the right to privacy first established in the Griswold v. Connecticut contraception case. Specter said Alito called the case "good law."
But that doesn’t mean Alito would agree with the Supreme Court on Roe v. Wade, which misused the privacy right to create a right to abortion.
At the same time, Specter told reporters he didn’t think Alito’s dissent in a case overturning part of Pennsylvania’s pro-life laws limiting abortions means he would vote to overturn Roe.