It takes a woman to find the real heart of an issue. This issue goes to the heart of a woman's autonomy. If you are a woman, or if you love a woman, don't let the creeping neocon takeover of the U.S. Supreme Court proceed. Air your views and lobby your representative to defeat Alito!
From the Signs of the Times news service:
Abortion Politics and Alito
By Eleanor Clift
Jan. 13, 2006
The Alito hearing couldn't have come out better for the Republicans if the Supreme Court nominee himself had chaired the committee. Even though it was a Republican senator, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who brought Alito's wife to tears by asking her husband if he was "a closet bigot," the Democrats got blamed for hectoring the nominee with questions he wasn't going to answer.
The shock of the rhetorical ploy briefly drove Martha-Ann Alito from the hearing room and gave Graham the stage to defend the judge's character and bemoan the "guilt by association" tactics employed by Democrats. It turns out that Graham had a hand in helping prep Alito for the hearings, which raises the issue of whether the line was scripted.
[Jeez, ya think? And check out Dependable Renagade's take on it! Scroll down about 1/2 way.]
At issue was Alito's membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), which he listed on a job application for the Reagan administration. The group opposed the admission of women and minorities at the expense of the children of alumni, known as legacies. Alito claimed he didn't remember being part of CAP, and early documents of the group don't reveal him as an active member. Yet Democrats kept hammering away until Graham exploded their line of questioning with his mock prosecutorial interrogation: "Are you really a closet bigot?"
Through most of the four days of hearings, Alito sat impassively while Democrats fell into the worst caricature of bloviating senators. There is no danger whatsoever when it comes to the nominee’s confirmation. He'll get more Democrats voting against him than Roberts, who had half the 44-member Democratic caucus voting for him, including the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary committee, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. One Hill vote-counter predicted the number of no votes on the Democratic side would be in the high 30s, no nail-biter but a sign of stormy weather ahead for the Republicans if Alito becomes the deciding vote against Roe v. Wade.
A pro-choice Republican who spoke with NEWSWEEK but didn't want her name used said she is more worried about Alito after hearing him testify, and wishes the Democrats would spend their time finding a candidate to beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries "or we're going to get four more years of judges like this." She thinks that to win the White House the Democrats need a more centrist candidate than Clinton. "The math is against her." (That debate is raging within Democratic circles, but no candidate has yet surfaced who could plausibly overtake Clinton, given her rock-star hold on party activists and the esteem in which she and her husband are held by African-American voters, a core Democratic constituency.)
It's pretty clear where Alito is headed on abortion rights. He refused to say whether he agreed with the characterization of the 1973 Roe ruling as "settled law," that couldn’t be re-examined. Now that the GOP is within striking distance of overturning Roe, they're having second thoughts. The public is not ready to abandon the landmark case legalizing abortion, and neither is the Republican Party. They used abortion as a wedge issue because the politics worked; they really didn't think abortion would ever be banned. "Any activist will tell you they'd rather have the issue out there than to have it resolved," says this pro-choice Republican, who has worked on the Hill and for various Republican interest groups. "If Roe were overturned, we'd be electing Democrats as far as the eye can see."
According to this source, even committed right-to-life activists don't want Roe struck from the books before society is ready. "They think if given the time, they can change the culture. I think they're deluded, but they know it's going to take time."
So what is the most likely scenario? The fight over Roe is not imminent. The more immediate challenge will be whether underage pregnant women will have to notify their parents of abortion plans, and extending the right of privacy to minors. "Would we have had Sandra Day O'Connor with us on that?" says the pro-choice Republican. "I'm not sure." She expects Alito to vote to erode Roe, and then the argument will be, sometime in the not too distant future, that the ruling is a shell, and it will be overturned.
Then the battle moves back to state legislatures, and some places — like Utah, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma and South Dakota — would outlaw abortions while other states, like New York and California, would be decried by the Right as "abortion mills." Politically, the end of Roe would crack open the Republican coalition in the country and on Capitol Hill. The party is full of secret pro-choicers, Republicans who signed on to a package that included the pro-life position with the belief that it would never happen.
[This is how a PATHOCRACY works.]
They've kept their mouth shut all these years, but they'll be mad as hell and not willing to take it any more. "Even if there's no right to privacy in the Constitution, there ought to be," says this pro-choice Republican. "It's an American virtue."
© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.
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