Samuel Alito Played Key Role in Brief to Overturn Abortion Case

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

Samuel Alito Played Key Role in Brief to Overturn Abortion Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 16, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito played a key role in helping to write a brief presented to the high court during his tenure in the Reagan administration. That’s according to a fellow attorney who participated in the case.

Albert Lauber, who served with Alito in the solicitor general’s office, said he was instrumental in drafting arguments for President Reagan about why the Supreme Court should uphold laws in Pennsylvania and Illinois which limited abortions.

Lauber said the portion of the brief urging the court to overturn Roe v. Wade was mostly written by Solicitor General Charles Fried, but he said Alito contributed to the line of argument against the landmark decision.

”Sam did make a major contribution to a brief which did argue, among other things, that Roe should be overruled," Lauber told the Boston Globe. ”He just didn’t write that specific part of the argument."

”I did most of the actual drafting. He did the research, the thinking, as well as the legal research and analysis," said Lauber, a Washington lawyer. ”Sam said, ‘I know this is not in your area.’ He kind of volunteered to be helpful."

In an interview with the Boston newspaper, Fried confirmed he wrote the section opposing Roe, but said it made sense for Alito to work on the brief along with him and Lauber.

The case involved state laws requiring abortion practitioners to tell women about the medical and psychological risks of an abortion as well as to provide them information about the development of their baby.

Lauber told the Globe that Alito was also helpful in coming up with arguments defending the ”humane and sanitary" disposal of the unborn baby’s body following the abortion.

The Supreme Court eventually found the laws unconstitutional on a 5-4 decision and reaffirmed its decision upholding Roe.

The revelation is the latest bit of information to shed light on Alito’s position on whether the controversial abortion case should be overturned. On Monday, a letter surfaced showing Alito saying he found no right to abortion in the Constitution.

In the letter, in which he was seeking a higher position within the Justice Department, Alito said he was "particularly proud" of his work on the case with Lauber and Fried.