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Samuel Alito, Senate confirmation hearings for his Supreme Court nomination, January 2006 (plus commentary)


Abortion
   Dick Durbin: Troubled that Alito 1985 memo shows closed mind on abortion.
   Dick Durbin: Doesn't condemn converts to pro-choice, since he did.
   John Roberts: Roe v. Wade is more than settled as precedent.
   Jon Kyl: Nominees should not reveal pre-determined positions on Roe.
   Lindsey Graham: Ginsburg would get rejected today for outspokenness on Roe.
   Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Government should fund abortion and childbirth equally.
   Samuel Alito: Stare decisis is first step; then an open mind on abortion.
   Samuel Alito: Was against Roe in 1985, but a lot has happened since then.
   Samuel Alito: Roe v Wade is important precedent but not settled law.
Civil Rights
   Jeff Sessions: Banning the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.
   Mike DeWine: Disturbed by "free speech zones" in public arena.
   Sam Brownback: Robustly religious public square better than naked square.
   Samuel Alito: Overturning separate-but-equal OK despite 60-year precedent.
   Samuel Alito: Treat religious speech equally with secular speech.
   Samuel Alito: Racial profiling violates the 4th Amendment.
   Samuel Alito: I joined CAP to defend ROTC, not to keep out minorities.
   Ted Kennedy: Alito joined CAP when CAP's racism was in the news.
   Samuel Alito: Privacy is a question of interpretation of the Constitution.
   Samuel Alito: The Constitution protects a right to privacy.
   Samuel Alito: The President has to comply with statutes that are passed.
Corporations
   Samuel Alito: Bundling goods to large purchasers is not monopolistic.
Crime
   Russell Feingold: Death penalty defendants often don't get adequate counsel.
   Russell Feingold: Alito votes more pro-death penalty than most GOP judges.
   Samuel Alito: Overruled by Supreme Court on death penalty adequate counsel.
   Samuel Alito: Congress limits judicial review of death penalty cases.
Education
   Joe Biden: Princeton was last Ivy holdout to admit women & minorities.
   Sam Brownback: Stare decisis would have upheld separate-but-equal.
Environment
   Dianne Feinstein: Citizens need standing to sue under Clean Water Act.
   Samuel Alito: Citizens can only sue under CWA if they suffered injury.
   Samuel Alito: Ruling on standing is not ruling against the environment.
Foreign Policy
   Tom Coburn: Justices citing foreign law is bad behavior.
   Samuel Alito: Don't look to foreign law for civil rights interpretation.
Government Reform
   Jeff Sessions: Supreme Court exceeds its authority and needs reining in.
   Samuel Alito: Over-reaching by Court undermines respect for law.
   Samuel Alito: No one is above the law and no one is beneath the law.
   Samuel Alito: Supports one-person-one-vote within a deviation of 10%.
   Samuel Alito: Supports stare decisis--following prior precedents.
   Samuel Alito: Executive power issues are not often resolved by the court.
   Samuel Alito: Constitution is a living thing, with unchanging principles.
   Arlen Specter: Nominees only answer as many questions as they have to.
   Dick Durbin: Justices should not restrict our rights and freedoms.
   Patrick Leahy: Justices should effectively check government overreaching.
Health Care
   Samuel Alito: Ok to refuse medical treatment; but assisted suicide not ok.
Homeland Security
   Patrick Leahy: Bush thinks anti-torture statue doesn't apply to him.
   Samuel Alito: President can be challenged for not following Congress' laws.
   Samuel Alito: Government needs to justify domestic spying.
   Ted Kennedy: All-powerful executive branch is genuinely troubling.
Immigration
   Herbert Kohl: Alito sided against immigrants 88% of the time.
   Samuel Alito: Voted against immigrants because Congress set law that way.
Principles & Values
   Arlen Specter: Senate speaks to entire Supreme Court during hearings.
   Charles Schumer: Alito responds, but doesn't really answer questions.
   Samuel Alito: Pledge of recusal does not last for 12 years.
   Samuel Alito: Constitution doesn't change but the factual situations do.
   Samuel Alito: All the courts should be insulated from public opinion.
   Charles Schumer: Nominees must prove they're not extreme.
   John Cornyn: Justices should respect law, not impose political agendas.
   Samuel Alito: 1960s Princeton: "privileged people behaving irresponsibly".
   Samuel Alito: Good judges can change their minds during a case.
   Samuel Alito: Attorneys want results; judges want only the rule of law.
   Samuel Alito: Pledges to administer justice without respect to persons.
Social Security
   Samuel Alito: Disability benefits apply if job category dissapears.
Technology
   Arlen Specter: Supreme Court proceedings should be televised.
   Samuel Alito: Voted to televise 3rd Circuit court.
War & Peace
   Samuel Alito: President does not have a blank check in time of war.
Welfare & Poverty
   Jeff Sessions: Eminent domain for private development is Court over-reach.
   Samuel Alito: Eminent domain affects emotions, not just money.


The above quotations are from Samuel Alito, Senate confirmation hearings for his Supreme Court nomination, January 2006 (plus commentary).

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