Judge Samuel Alito Jr. Should NOT become a Supreme Court Justice
Candidate Forum - West Newfield
January 11, 2006
Iíve been catching as much as I can of the Confirmation Hearing of Judge Samuel Alito, Jr. as a Supreme Court Justice, on CNN, on the radio as Iíve been doing paperwork, and in the car as I traveled to and from campaign appearances.
And Iíve been troubled by what Iíve heard and seen.
Judge Alito, like Judge Roberts before him, has demonstrated that he is articulate, knowledgeable, and thoughtful.
However, he repeatedly danced around when the subject of abortion was raised. He refused to agree that Roe v. Wade is settled law, and he would consider precedent only partially in looking at any future cases on that issue. Clearly, this reproductive right is in jeopardy should he become a Supreme Court Justice.
More troubling is his language around presidential powers. While he agreed that no one, not even the President of the United States is above the law, he refused to offer an opinion on whether the recent Presidential orders, Presidential signing statements, on wiretapping Americans and on allowing torture if the President determined it was ěnecessary,î are lawful.
If the Supreme Court rules that the President of the United States can issue orders that are automatically lawful by virtue of his position as President, no matter how much or badly they conflict with laws passed by Congress or even provisions in the U.S. Constitution, then how useful is it to know that Judge Alito thinks not even the President is above the law?
And his dance around his ěproudî membership in the right-wing Princeton University organization Concerned Alumni of Princeton on his 1985 job application with the Reagan Administration is nothing short of bizarre. He said he would never join such an organization if he had known it was racist and sexist, that he thought it had something to do with a resistance to having ROTC units on campus while he was a student a decade before. Yet he was ěproudî to list it on his job application. And he said, under oath, that he had absolutely no recollection of the organization, or his membership in it. He was simply unbelievable.
It was also interesting to see the Republican startled response when Judge Alito repudiated his unqualified endorsement of Judge Bork during the 1980s, specifically renouncing several judicial positions that Judge Bork was most noted for. It would appear that the Republican endearment toward Judge Alito was based in large part on their belief that Judge Alito might be a Judge Bork clone.
But the bottom line concern is his repeated protestations to several Senators that his 1985 job application, which has proven so troublesome for him, reflected an eager young lawyer trying to get a job. Now that he is an older judge and lawyer trying to get a job, can we trust anything he says?
If I were U. S. Senator now instead of Olympia Snowe, I would vote against Judge Alitoís confirmation to the Supreme Court.