The Spectacle Blog

Slate in a State

By on 11.2.05 | 2:38PM

Their Supreme Court analysis has never been great, but Slate's offerings on Samuel Alito are especially hysterical (definition 1, and sometimes 3). One example: Richard Schragger writes, regarding Alito's abortion jurisprudence: "Seeking to cloud this issue by pointing out that Alito authored opinions on both sides of the issue is nonsense. Nothing could be further from the truth." To make his case, Scragger discusses Casey and Farmer, emphasizing the distance in the latter case between the majority opinion Alito's precedent-based concurrence. But he totally ignores Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women v. Knoll, the Medicaid abortion-funding case which I described here. Knoll was a split 2-1 decision, so it's not as if Alito's deference to Clinton admininstration policy was inevitable. As Ed Whelan has pointed out, Knoll was really about administrative law, not abortion, but it does illustrate that Alito's jurisprudence isn't guided by pro-life policy preferences.

On the other hand, it's hard to stay mad at a website that sics Christopher Hitchens on Brent "Fifty Years of Peace" Scowcroft. (I do not endorse Hitchens's anti-Mormon aside, but that's an incurable tic. The one time I've met him, Hitchens responded to a well-wisher who said "I read your columns religiously" by saying "that's not the way you're supposed to read them." I got the impression that he'd used that line before.)

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