Monday, November 14, 2005

Scalito's Skeleton in the Cupboard

Via Atrios, we learn that Samuel Alito is indeed a wingnut. Well, this isn't new or even shocking, but the details now available should make Senator Biden and others like him to admit what they are approving if they approve Scalito. The Washington Times, a right-wing newspaper unable to make a profit but somehow always surviving in the supposedly free marketplace, is reassuring its readers that Alito is the package they paid for about twenty years ago. The demise of Roe is finally being delivered:

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times.
"I personally believe very strongly" in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.
The document, which is likely to inflame liberals who oppose Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, is among many that the White House will release today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
In direct, unambiguous language, the young career lawyer who served as assistant to Solicitor General Rex E. Lee, demonstrated his conservative bona fides as he sought to become a political appointee in the Reagan administration.
"I am and always have been a conservative," he wrote in an attachment to the noncareer appointment form that he sent to the Presidential Personnel Office. "I am a lifelong registered Republican."
But his statements against abortion and affirmative action might cause him headaches from Democrats and liberals as he prepares for confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, scheduled for January.
"It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan's administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," he wrote.
"I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

A proud man, our Samuel. I wonder what his opinions would be on religious quotas. For example, how many Opus Dei judges can we have on the Supreme Court of the United States?

The use of the word "quotas" in Alito's text deserves further commenting. The wingnuts tend to see any attempt at racial or ethnic balance as quota-mongering but rarely note that there were actual enforced maximum quotas on the numbers of women and minorities in lots of places in the past, including medical and law schools. Even today hiring one woman or person belonging to a minority group to some prominent position is seen as ample evidence of their acceptability, whereas I tend to smell a maximum quota of one in quite a few of those cases. But the wingnuts only worry about minimum quotas. The idea is that there should be no set floor on the numbers of minorities or women in positions of power. This naturally translates to the argument that there should be no set ceiling for the numbers of white men.