Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Thanks Pro-Life Leader, Abortion Pols Upset

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Thanks Pro-Life Leader, Abortion Pols Upset Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 2, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has sent a letter of thanks to a leading pro-life advocate for his group’s prayers and support during his Senate confirmation battle.

The letter is coming under fire from pro-abortion groups who say it compromises his fairness of the high court even though it appears to be the same form letter Justice Alito sent to other people.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson said on Wednesday that Justice Alito sent him a letter thanking him and his millions of radio listeners for their support.

Alito wrote that "the prayers of so many people from around the country were a palpable and powerful force."

"As long as I serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me," Dobson said, quoting from Alito’s letter on his nationally syndicated radio program.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told AP that Justice Alito sent the letter as a response to a note Dobson sent him congratulating him on his confirmation as the latest member of the high court.

She said his pledge about the "trust" placed in him was verbage he included in letters to people of all political stripes who sent him congratulatory letters.

In fact, Dobson merely received a copy of the same form letter Alito sent out to virtually everyone to wrote in to congratulate him.

"A reading of the actual letter suggests Dobson just got a form letter Alito sent to all of those who congratulated him on his confirmation, not a coded commitment to Dobson’s agenda on abortion," Brent Baker of the Media Research Center commented.

Still, the pro-abortion Americans United for Separation of Church and State labeled the letter "grossly inappropriate."

"This note strongly suggests that Alito is carrying out a right-wing agenda instead of being a justice for all," Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the groups, director, told AP.

However, David Yalof, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut, and a Supreme Court observer, told AP the letter does not contain any problems.

"I think it’s a very carefully worded letter, and I don’t think any of it crosses the line," he said. "As long as Alito didn’t (say) there is any obligation or debt owed, I don’t think it is a violation of judicial canon."

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