Having had their ears pinned back on Iraq by the president’s speech at the Naval Academy, the Dems are oscillating back to the only other issue they care about: abortion. In this case, the cause du jour is the 17-page memo on Roe that Judge Alito wrote in 1985. Why, thunders Ted Kennedy, didn’t you mention this when you answered the Judiciary Committee’s questionnaire?
Alito’s memo outlined a strategy to whittle away at Roe instead of attacking it head-on. Which, regardless of anyone’s strategy, is the likely course of events. State after state will, as the New Hampshire parental notification law did, take pieces of the abortion issue and return it to the states’ legislative processes. More and more of them are likely to be upheld by the Roberts court, and almost assuredly would were Judge Alito to become Justice Alito. Which is why the pressure on the Dems to filibuster the nomination is growing daily.
Today, Sen. Specter has called Alito to a meeting, after which Specter plans to speak to reporters. This may be a big nothing, or it could be Specter’s first turn against Alito. Specter can take cover behind the omission of the memo Kennedy rails about, and if he does choose to raise concerns about Alito’s full disclosure, this could be a sign of bigger troubles to come. Anyone who believes Specter is on board with the administration, or with Alito, is betting on the wrong horse.