WSJ falsely suggests that Bush Supreme Court nominees did not have a clear record on abortion

››› ››› ADAM SHAH

A Wall Street Journal article falsely claimed, in supposed contrast to Judge Diane Wood, that "[r]ecent Supreme Court nominees" did not have a clear record on abortion. In fact, Samuel Alito had written that he was "particularly proud" of his efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade and had issued a key anti-abortion rights opinion.

Journal wrong on Supreme Court nominees' abortion records

WSJ falsely claims abortion views were "anybody's guess" for past Supreme Court nominees. From an April 29 Wall Street Journal article headlined "Judge Has Record on Abortion Issue":

Recent Supreme Court nominees have come before the Senate with such slim records on abortion that their views were anybody's guess.

Not so with Diane Wood, a Chicago federal appellate judge who is on the White House's short list of candidates for the latest high-court vacancy. Judge Wood has expressed approval for the philosophy behind the Roe v. Wade decision establishing a woman's right to abortion, which was written by her former boss, Justice Harry Blackmun.

Reality: Alito said he "strongly" and "personally" believed in the argument that the Constitution did not protect abortion

In job application, Alito said he was "particularly proud" of his efforts to overturn constitutional protections for abortion. The Journal article did not mention Alito at all. In fact, in a 1985 job application, Alito said that he "strongly" and "personally" believed in the legal argument that the Constitution did not protect abortion:

Most recently, it has been an honor and a 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. 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 the right to an abortion.

As a lower court judge, Alito issued key anti-abortion opinion with which the Supreme Court later disagreed. As an appellate judge, Alito dissented from the Third Circuit's decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to strike down a provision of Pennsylvania law requiring a married woman to notify her spouse before having an abortion. Alito argued that the spousal notification law did not violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court later held that the spousal notification law was unconstitutional.

Posted In
Government, Nominations & Appointments, The Judiciary
Wall Street Journal
Supreme Court Nominations, Diane Wood
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