Pro-Abortion Senators Want More Info on Samuel Alito Abortion Memos

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 2, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Senators Want More Info on Samuel Alito Abortion Memos Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 2, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Abortion advocates in the Senate are growing increasingly concerned about the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito after a second memo he wrote in 1985 surfaced this week showing him strongly opposed to abortion and Roe v. Wade.

Senator Charles Schumer, a pro-abortion New York Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants Alito to provide more details about his involvement in Reagan administration attempts to dismantle the landmark abortion case.

In a letter, Schumer said it was "puzzling" that Alito left out information about his work on abortion cases for the Reagan administration in his 64 page questionnaire he completed for the committee.

Schumer said he wanted a detailed summary covering "the nature" of Alito’s "participation" in Reagan administration briefs that asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe.

Schumer wants to know why Alito didn’t reference the abortion cases in a question that asked him about his involvement in contentious legal matters.

"In light of your 17-page memorandum and the accounts of your former colleagues, your ‘participation in the litigation’ was clearly substantial," Schumer said in his letter to Alito, account to the Washington Post.

Schumer added: "In your 1985 job application, written only a few months later, you appeared to highlight your work on the Thornburgh [abortion] case."

In response to the letter, an unnamed White House spokesman told the Associated Press that "it’s increasingly apparent" Schumer "has no intention" of giving Alito’s nomination "any consideration whatsoever."

Another pro-abortion lawmaker on the judicial panel, Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, said that "a credibility gap is emerging with each new piece of information released on Judge Alito’s record."

Despite the criticisms over abortion, Democrats would not say whether they constituted enough of a problem for them to filibuster Alito’s nomination.

"The Democratic caucus will wait for the hearings before any decisions are made," said Rebecca Kirszner, spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

In an attempt to mitigate the new criticisms, Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, a Republican who backs abortion, scheduled a meeting today with Alito and a planned press conference afterwards.

He said he didn’t think Alito’s abortion memos warranted a filibuster.

"I do not think it materially or significantly changes the political dynamics of the Senate. I do not believe that there is a basis for a filibuster here," he told the Post.