by Steven Ertelt
January 16, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Senate Democrats have elected to delay a vote on the Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito’s bid to replace pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Senate Judiciary will vote on Alito on January 24 and the full Senate will take up his nomination the next day.
Alito is virtually assured of a favorable vote in committee where all 10 Republicans have committed to support his nomination. Five of the eight Democrats opposed Chief Justice John Roberts’ bid last time and all eight are expected to oppose Alito.
Democrats may have made the decision in response to pressure from outside interest groups. Several pro-abortion organizations and other political groups wanted extra time to run television commercials blasting Alito with the hopes of changing enough minds to prevent his nomination.
The decision drew criticism from the top Republican in the Senate.
In a written statement responding to the decision, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Republican, "The Democrats‘ decision to delay … is unjustified and desperate partisan obstructionism."
Frist said he looks forward to a "fair up or down vote" shortly after the committee votes.
Frist also said Alito appears to have the 60 votes he needs in the full Senate to avoid a filibuster.
"Despite these tactics, Judge Alito remains on track to be confirmed as Justice Alito," Frist said. "A Justice delayed will not be a Justice denied."
Should he be confirmed, Alito will replace a Supreme Court justice who was the deciding vote on the issue of partial-birth abortions and one of six members of the high court to support legal abortions throughout pregnancy.
Alito could also be a crucial vote on whether or not Oregon doctors can continue using federally controlled drugs to kill patients in assisted suicides.