More Senators Concerned About Samuel Alito Memo Opposing Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 1, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More Senators Concerned About Samuel Alito Memo Opposing Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 1, 2005

Washington, DC ( — More pro-abortion members of the Senate are worried about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito’s views on abortion after a second memo was released Wednesday showing him opposing abortion and wanting to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont lawmaker who is the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, joined New York Sen. Chuck Schumer in decrying the contents of the letter.

"This information reinforces the need for the Senate to obtain all relevant information about this nominee, including his other solicitor general memos and his work in the Office of Legal Counsel," Leahy said.

"We now see why this administration has resisted so strenuously to the release of these sorts of memos," he added.

But White House spokesman Steve Schmidt told the Associated Press he’s worried that Senate Democrats will use a claim of getting too little information about Alito as a reason to oppose him instead of clearly saying they have a litmus test on abortion. He pointed out that the Senate has been given thousands of records on Alito, including copies of all of his decisions as an appeals court judge.

The questions "disturbingly seem to be suggesting that some Democrats are ready to implement a strategy … that they would obstruct the Roberts nomination and later nominations by claiming that they didn’t have sufficient access to documents," he said.

The National Archives released the Alito abortion memo yesterday, which shows the nominee advising the Reagan administration to weigh in on Supreme Court battles on two pro-life laws. He told officials to defend the laws and advised on a best strategy to support them and weaken Roe.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who leads abortion advocates in the Senate, said the memo was a serious concern.

"The more we know, the more disturbing it gets," she claimed. The document "raises very serious questions about whether Judge Alito has been sincere about his respect for the precedent of Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a woman the right to choose."

This is the second abortion memo Alito has written that’s come to light. Another one shows Alito lobbying for a higher position within the Reagan Justice Department and he says there’s no right to abortion in the Constitution.

Alito, who enjoys the support of many pro-life groups and is opposed by pro-abortion organizations, has been nominated to replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Senate will hold hearings on his nomination January 9 and a final Senate vote is expected January 20.