Judiciary Cmte Democrats Who Backed Roberts May Not Back Samuel Alito

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 13, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Judiciary Cmte Democrats Who Backed Roberts May Not Back Samuel Alito

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 13, 2006

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two Wisconsin Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who voted in favor of John Roberts’ nomination for Chief Justice may not support Samuel Alito’s bid for the Supreme Court.

Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, both pro-abortion lawmakers, say they remain undecided on Alito’s nomination and his views on abortion are a large reason why they haven’t made up their minds.

"There were some things that I really was hoping to hear that I’ve not heard yet," Feingold told reporters Thursday. "I keep listening for stronger answers, and have been concerned about the answers."

According to an AP report, Feingold also said that he’s concerned about Alito’s answers on abortion. Though Roberts discussed how the precedent could be overturned, he called Roe v. Wade "settled law" and Feingold noted Alito’s refusal to use that term to describe the 1973 decision.

"It seems to me he’s got a rather unconvincing view of how strong of a precedent that is," Feingold said. "It seems to me that he is straining to state the least strong view of that possible."

Kohl agreed, and told the Associated Press "Justice Roberts was willing to call it settled law" and said Alito’s comments on abortion would be a strong factor in determining his vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to meet on Tuesday to begin debating Alito’s nomination and chairman Arlen Specter wants the committee to vote at the end of the debate. However, Democrats have said its possible they may use their procedural rights to postpone a committee vote for a week.

Should the committee vote on Alito’s nomination, he is expected to at least be voted out of committee on a 10-8 party-line vote. In addition to Feingold and Kohl, pro-abortion Sen. Pat Leahy supported Roberts bid last time.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has said the full Senate will debate Alito’s nomination from January 18-20 and take a vote on the 20th if the committee approves him next Tuesday.

ACTION: Contact members of the Senate and express your opinion about Samuel Alito’s nomination. You can find contact information for all senators at: https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.