Chipping Away at Roe

Senator Schumer is stunned that Samuel Alito wishes to chip away at a woman’s right to choose:

WASHINGTON – As a Reagan administration lawyer in 1985, Samuel Alito made clear his hope that the Supreme Court would one day overturn a landmark ruling that established abortion rights. But Alito, now a Supreme Court nominee, argued against an all-out assault on the Roe v. Wade ruling, fearing such an assault would fail. Instead, he recommended a policy of “mitigating its effects” by trying to persuade justices to accept state regulations on abortions … Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the memo “stunning.” “These latest revelations cast serious doubt on whether Judge Alito can be at all objective on the right to privacy and a woman’s right to choose,” Schumer said.

While I agree with Senator Schumer’s concerns, such curtailments may occur even if the Senate rejects Alito’s nomination:

WASHINGTON – The news in Wednesday’s Supreme Court argument over New Hampshire’s parental notification abortion law was that the John Roberts era may be one in which the right to get an abortion is further curtailed. At least at first blush, Roberts – hearing his first case as chief justice on abortion restrictions – seemed to be trying hard to save the New Hampshire law from being declared unconstitutional, as it was by two lower courts. What was perhaps even more important was that Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor – both of whom back abortion rights in general – also hinted that they, too, would try hard to salvage the New Hampshire law.