If I hear one more person state that Alito is in favor of strip searching 12 year olds, or in favor requiring women to notify their husbands if they intend to have an abortion, or in favor of racial discrimination, or whatever, I am going to blow a gasket. John Henke has already dealt with many of these bullshit attacks (as has Patterico), but they have not received enough attention.
It sure didn’t take you guys long to get your talking points disseminated, and the fact that many of you are spouting them already reminds me that as a lot, the left is as unprincipled as many in my party, and that, sadly, includes a number of the commenters here.
None of you, and I mean NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON, knows whether Judge Alito favors strip searching twelve year olds. We do, however, have some evidence that he finds it distasteful. How do we know that? Well, not from the Thinkprogress or dKos talking points (or Senator Feinstein’s notes), but from his actual opinion:
I share the Majority’s visceral dislike of the intrusive search of John Doe’s young daughter, but it is a sad fact that drug dealer’s sometimes use children to carry out their business and to avoid prosecution. I know of no legal principle that bars an officer from search a child (in a proper manner) if a warrant has been issued and the warrant is no illegal on its face.
In short, it would appear that the exact opposite is true- Judge Alito might actually find searching 12 year olds an unfavorable behavior. But what he says is that he finds no legal reason why police should be prohibited from doing so. I would tend to find this an unfavorbable behavior, and I would pressure my legislature and executives to make sure it is not happening. The Supreme Court is not there to protect rights in the abstract, they are there to determine whether rights, as outlined in the Constitution, are defended and protected. They are not there to ‘make things right.’ They are there to faithfully interpret legislation and the Constitution.
Personally, I find the case in question disgusting for a number of reasons, most of which is based up0n my opinion on the War on Drugs in general (not to mention my decidedly non-Republican position on the rights of the accused). But simply lying about Alito, making him out to be some sort of crazed misogynist intent on controlling a woman’s uterus or strip searching little girls is unfair, inaccurate, and does nothing but queer the debate.
Alito may be an unacceptable candidate. He may be a perfectly good nominee. But we should debate his judicial philosophy, not inject silly attacks on what we think he believes, or distort his dissents and his opinions into some sort of catalogue of political opinions. There is a difference between a legal opinion and a political opinion, and what Justices believe personally is irrelevant- it is how they interpret the Constitution that matters.
Failing to recognize that leads me to believe that many of you really are in favor of judicial activism- just the kind that fits your politics.