Senators Discuss Abortion, Roe v. Wade With Nominee Samuel Alito

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senators Discuss Abortion, Roe v. Wade With Nominee Samuel Alito Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 8, 2005

Washington, DC ( — After meeting with Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, some senators are saying they believe he will not overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortions. But pro-life advocates say Alito’s comments don’t mean he would vote to uphold the decision that has resulted in more than 44 million abortions.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat who backs abortion, said Alito told him he had "great respect" for the high court’s landmark 1973 decision. Lieberman called the comment "encouraging" but said Alito did not pledge to uphold the case if confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Alito also recently met with Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a pro-abortion Republican, who said she also discussed the issue of abortion with him.

"I asked him whether it made a difference to him if he disagreed with the initial decision, but it had been reaffirmed several times since then. I was obviously referring to Roe in that question,” Collins explained.

"He assured me that he has tremendous respect for precedent and that his approach is to not overturn cases due to a disagreement with how they were originally decided," she told the Associated Press.

However, pro-life advocates say Alito, who has been nominated to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, would be likely to overturn Roe and are not concerned about his comments saying he respects Supreme Court precedent.

“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," says Hausknecht of Focus on the Family Action.

Most pro-life groups support Alito and say that he had to follow Supreme Court precedent as an appeals court judge but would be free to overturn cases like Roe if confirmed to the high court. They expected Alito to give similar responses as Chief Justice John Roberts, who explained in detail how and why long-standing Supreme Court precedents could be overturned.