by Steven Ertelt
November 7, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading Democrat who sits on the judicial panel that will evaluate Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito says he doesn’t think Senate Democrats will ultimately back a filibuster of his nomination because of his abortion views.
"My instinct is we should commit," to voting on Alito, Sen. Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat and possible 2008 presidential candidate, told ABC’s "This Week."
"I think that judgment won’t be made until the bulk of us have had a chance to actually see (Alito) and speak to him. But I think the probability is that (a vote) will happen," Biden added.
Other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have said it’s too soon to tell whether a filibuster would be used and leading abortion advocates Chuck Schumer of New York and Barbara Boxer of California have already said it’s a possibility.
Schumer, Boxer, and other abortion advocates have expressed concern over Alito because of a key 1991 appeals court decision in which he voted to uphold Pennsylvania pro-life laws limiting abortion, including a provision requiring women to notify their husbands before going through with an abortion.
Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who is one of 14 senators who made up the ilibuster compromise group, says none of its members have any problems so far with Alito. Most of them are "favorably disposed" toward Alito, he said.
Pro-life groups support Alito because they say he will vote on the Supreme Court to uphold pro-life legislation.
Bruce Hausknecht of Focus on the Family Action said, "Where he’s had some wiggle room to examine the fact and apply facts to the law, he’s shown a propensity to allow states to regulate abortion."
Confirmation hearings on the Alito nomination begin January 9 and the full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination on January 20.