Document Shows Samuel Alito Rejects Abortion as Constitutional Right

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 14, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Document Shows Samuel Alito Rejects Abortion as Constitutional Right Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 14, 2005

Washington, DC ( — A new document obtained by the Washington Times shows that Samuel Alito, President Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court, rejected abortion as a constitutional right. In a letter to Attorney General Edwin Meese in 1985, Alito wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

"I personally believe very strongly," Alito said in the document, which is one of many the White House released today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the Senate Judiciary Committee to review before holding hearings on Alito in January.

In the memo, Alito also wrote that he was a conservative and a Republican and appreciated the opportunity to advance President Reagan’s legal positions, such as opposing abortion, during his tenure as an assistant in the office of the Solicitor General.

"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 … the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion," Alito said.

"I am and always have been a conservative," he added, according to the Times. "I am a lifelong registered Republican."

This document provides the strongest evidence yet for pro-life advocates who are still worries that there is not enough evidence to prove Alito will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if a case comes before him on the high court. Most pro-life groups have endorsed Alito’s nomination and abortion advocates are launching campaigns this week to oppose him.

In the memo, Alito added that he "I believe very strongly in limited government" and the "the supremacy of the elected branches of government," and "and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values" — showing his judicial philosophy would make him likely to uphold pro-life laws on the Supreme Court.

In interviews with members of the Senate last week, Alito described Roe v. Wade as a precedent-setting case that deserves "great respect" but would not commit to upholding the decision in the future.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat, told reporters Alito described the abortion case as a "precedent on which people, a lot of people, relied, and had been precedent now for decades and therefore deserved great respect."

Lieberman called that "encouraging" but added that Alito would not say he would vote to uphold Roe.