Senate Democrat Leader Concerned About Samuel Alito on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 16, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Democrat Leader Concerned About Samuel Alito on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 16, 2005

Washington, DC ( — The Senate’s top Democrat says he has "significant concerns" about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito because of a 1985 letter given to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday showing Alito saying he doesn’t think there is a Constitutional right to abortion.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday called Alito one of the most conservative judges in the United States and said he understands why pro-life advocates mostly celebrated his nomination.

"A picture of Sam Alito is emerging that may explain why the extreme right-wing is popping champagne corks," Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said in a Senate speech.

"I will work to ensure that Judge Alito is treated with civility and respect," Reid said. "But there is nothing disrespectful about an open and fair-minded review of a nominee’s approach to the Constitution and his commitment to core American values like equality, privacy and fairness."

Reid said he was worried that Alito would be the kind of judge who, unlike previous nominee Harriet Miers, would be open to overturning Roe v. Wade.

"Harriet Miers was forced to withdraw by conservative activists who want to change the legal landscape of America," Reid said. "They decided she was inadequately radical or insufficiently aggressive for their purposes, so they gave her the boot."

Reid also reiterated his sexist attacks on Altio. After the nomination was announced he complained that Bush failed to appoint a woman or Hispanic and said Bush was turning the Supreme Court into an "old boys club."

"The appointment of Judge Alito largely fails to diversify the court," Reid said Wednesday.

Reid’s speech is part of a planned attack this week on Alito, and he is joined by pro-abortion groups, who are stepping up efforts to rally abortion advocates against him.

"Day by day, it becomes clearer what Judge Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court means for the right to [abortion]," interim Planned Parenthood president Karen Peal told supporters in an email Wednesday afternoon. "Urge your senators to oppose Alito’s nomination."

The abortion business hopes to get 100,000 people to contact the Senate.