Archive for November 15th, 2005

Turnabout is Fair Play

PBS Watch poses an interesting question on the subject of invoking foreign law in American judicial decisions.
The branch of the Supreme Court which likes to cite foreign sources for its decisions will, no doubt, have little problem with extending the Patriot Act to include the powers given to the French government under the current state of emergency.

The powers include curfews, restricting the movement of people and vehicles, conducting house searches, and banning public meetings. If such measures are necessary when a few "youths" get upset and burn a few cars, they must surely be needed when a country has been attacked and 3000 people killed.

Well put.

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Alito is apparently distancing himself from his 1985 statement where he opposed abortion as a right.
President Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court, said today that his written views against abortion rights 20 years ago were the responses of "an advocate seeking a job."

The remarks came up when Judge Alito met this morning with Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as he makes his rounds to meet with lawmakers who will vote on his nomination.

After the meeting, Ms. Feinstein told reporters she had asked the judge why he had described himself, when he was applying for a promotion in the Reagan administration, as a thoroughgoing conservative "particularly proud" of contributing to cases arguing "that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

"He said first of all it was different then," Ms. Feinstein said. "He said, ‘I was an advocate seeking a job, it was a political job and that was 1985. I’m now a judge, I’ve been on the circuit court for 15 years and it’s very different. I’m not an advocate, I don’t give heed to my personal views, what I do is interpret the law."’

She was asked if she found his answer satisfactory.

"The question is, Did I believe he was being absolutely truthful, and I did," she responded.

She said he "was very sincere, he was very direct in answering my questions, he clearly is well-steeped in the law, has a good mind, is an able thinker." Senator Feinstein is a strong supporter of abortion rights.

Shrewd move on the judge’s part. He can’t do a damn thing if he isn’t confirmed.

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