Point-Counterpoint: Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination

Pauli, Ben

The recent congressional nomination
hearings over the appointment
of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court have raised a number of issues as to whether Mr. Alito has the right attributes to be a Supreme Court justice. While apprehension over Judge Alito’s credentials and positions have a different focus than those which were directed toward Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers (Alito actually has judicial experience), a number of concerns have been raised as to some of his past rulings. Perhaps most notably, civil libertarians and women’s rights activists are, in the least, skeptical of Alito’s positions on cases over which he ruled. In his dissenting opinion in Doe v. Groody (2004), for example, Judge Alito argued that police were justified in strip-searching the wife and ten-year-old daughter of a suspected drug dealer, despite the fact that the warrant issued only specified the search of the home and the suspect himself. In the high profile case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) Judge Alito, again dissenting
from the majority, argued that forcing women to notify their husbands
before being allowed to have an abortion was justified because laws requiring minors to notify their parents were held as constitutional.
Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor responded to such logic by stating that the “State may not give to a man the kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their children.”
Finally, Judge Alito has continually
given opinions that would considerably
raise the standard needed in order to bring gender and racial discrimination charges to trial. In Sheridan v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. (1995) Alito was the sole dissenter in a 10-1 decision in which he argued that a female employee claiming sex discrimination did not have sufficient evidence to bring her charges to trial. All of these rulings paint an accurate picture of Samuel Alito’s record. He is consistently the minority voice arguing against basic civil liberties, the rights of women, and the rights of the oppressed.