More Senators Say They Will Question Samuel Alito on Abortion Memos

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More Senators Say They Will Question Samuel Alito on Abortion Memos Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 6, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Two more members of the Senate Judiciary Committee say they plan to ask Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito tough questions about two 1985 memos he wrote saying there is no right to abortion in the Constitution. The panel’s hearings on Alito’s nomination begin Monday.

Wisconsin Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, both Democrats, said on Thursday that they’re troubled by the content of the memos and not satisfied by private reassurances Alito gave them during private meetings Alito had with almost every senator.

In separate interviews with the Associated Press, both senators said they have open minds going into the hearings but want detailed explanations of whether content of the memos represent his current views.

"He says one thing, but he’s written other things," Kohl. "He needs to provide much more light on this issue, because it’s a very important issue. It will be an important thing with me to get a sense of where he truly is on the question of privacy."

Feingold called Alito’s abortion memo "sort of over the top, in terms of his view of what appears to be settled law in this area. I will be very concerned and interested in what he has to say about precedent in all areas — including this area."

Feingold and Kohl, both abortion advocates, sided with pro-abortion Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont in supporting the nomination of John Roberts to become chief justice.

Alito, in a 1985 application to become deputy assistant to former Attorney General Edwin Meese, wrote that he "personally believe[s] very strongly" in the legal position that abortion is not a constitutionally protected right.

In another 1985 memo, Alito advised the Reagan administration on how to approach a Supreme Court case regarding abortion to place more restrictions on abortion.

Alito, who President Bush nominated to replace outgoing pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, enjoys strong support from most pro-life groups and abortion advocates are calling on senators to oppose hid bid.

ACTION: Contact members of the Senate and express your opinion about Samuel Alito’s nomination. You can find contact information for all senators at: