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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Who’s Being Hoodwinked?

Various pro-life groups have had a generally favorable response to the Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination. Pro-abortion groups have been generally opposed. Yet in today’s confirmation hearings, in response to a question about Roe v. Wade, Alito said, "The presumption is the court will follow its prior precedents."

What does that mean? Does Alito still believe, as he wrote in 1985, that the “constitution does not protect a right to an abortion"? If this is still his belief, if he believes that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, would he, given the opportunity, vote to overturn it? Is he just playing the game of trying to placate liberal senators who would certainly vote against him if he told them what he really believed? Is he attempting to hoodwink the pro-choicers?

Or have those on the pro-life side already been hoodwinked? Does Alito mean to say that the principle of stare decisis (to stand by what is decided) carries more weight than the Constitution itself? Does he mean to say that, even though Roe was wrongly decided, it is now the law of the land and must be upheld? Is Alito another judge who, upon rising to the pinnacle of his profession, will betray the hopes of those who elected the president who nominated him?

I have real concerns about Judge Alito. I hope and pray that my concerns are unfounded.


Anonymous Christina said...

Mr. Alexander,

You know, you pose the very question that has been on mind after seeing portions of the hearings this morning. I couldn't help but wonder if he was being vague so as not to give the liberals anything specific to vote against or if he really is not quite as conservative as many of us hope.

I too share your concerns after hearing what has been said thus far. Hopefully, he is just doing a masterful job of getting himself appointed without a huge fight. However I think there are plenty of people who are willing to put up a good fight over this. I think a lot of true conservatives would almost prefer the fight to wondering about Alito's true allegiance.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Malott said...

As I've written before, I fear Roe has served its purpose in changing our culture and thinking... and even if it is overturned there will be few if any state legislatures that will outlaw the procedure.

But I do think Alito is a strict constructionist who will allow states to pass laws that will restrict the procedure.

I also think he will come through on Gay marriage, prayer, and other important cultural issues and decisions that are in our future.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

I agree, the mood of many conservatives is that we need to quit allowing a liberal minority to dictate policy. Conservatives win elections, but when it's time to stand up to liberals in government, it seems that very few have the courage to do that.

Roe certainly has done a lot of damage in terms of helping to change society's thinking about the value of life. However, I believe that there is now an ever increasing percentage of the population that is beginning to rethink their pro-choice stance. Perhaps technology, where we can "see" the unborn child and where ever younger premature babies are able to survive has something to do with it. Perhaps it is an increasingly bold Christian right who's willing to speak out. Whatever the reason, I believe that there are more and more people becoming "pro-life." As you may know, there is a bill right now in the Indiana House that would outlaw almost all abortions in Indiana. I don't know whether or not this bill will ever pass, but eventually bills like this one will begin to be passed by some states, and other states will pass bills that will greatly restrict abortions. The problem is that a long as Roe is in place, a bill like the one in the Indiana House that becomes law will likely be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Chris, I agree that overturning Roe is not the end-all answer to the abortion problem, but I think it's an important step. The answer I really want to see is a Constitutional amendment stating that life begins at conception. We have a very long way to go before society would allow that, but I think overturning Roe would be an important step along the way.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Malott said...

I hope you're right, Bryan. This is a case in which I would love being proved wrong.

8:31 PM  

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