Alito on the Issues

I think it might be iteresting to have another one of our collaborative projects, and this time, we will try to establish exactly where Alito stands on the issues. We won’t run it the same way we did with the last project, but instead, what we will do is first identify a number of areas of interest, and then try to find his opinions and hash them out.

In this thread, lets try to establish which areas of interest are of importance, and then we will track down his opinions. For example, two areas of interest for me are Alito’s views on the Commerce Clause and Property Rights. Other issues might be Voting Rights, etc.

Put down your areas of concern, and we will move from there.






52 replies
  1. 1
    Sojourner says:

    I’d like to know where he stands on New Deal issues such as Social Security, Medicare, and employment rights.

  2. 2
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    Right to Privacy (From Lawrence v. Texas to Griswold v. Connecticut). Is there one? What are the restrictions on it? Does it fall under the 9th Amendment? Or is it simply a penumbra right under a variety of other amendments?

    Electronic Civil Liberties. What laws apply to the internet, what laws don’t? Why? Under ATCA can a company that files suit in Australia under their libel laws make a claim in the 2nd district, even if our libel laws would not apply?

  3. 3
    Another Jeff says:

    Does he that, in general, black players are faster than white ones?

  4. 4
    srv says:

    Jose Padilla/non-combatant rights/Unitary Executive Theory – Scalia is clearly not a big fan of the GWoT, having joined Stevens in dissents like Padilla vs. Rumsfelf. Can we expect him to join Scalia or will he be a presidential sockpuppet like Thomas (as Miers would probably have been).

  5. 5
    cd6 says:

    Interested in his views on protection of civil liberties from investigation/search and siezure – patriot act, that kind of thing

    By now, everyone has heard of Scalito’s 10 year old girl strip search decision, and shit like that is just scary

    Speaking of scary, as a side bar, what if Bush attempted to scare Americans for Halloween by just nominating this psychopath to the supreme court, for kicks? At the end of the day, is he just going to be like “BOOO! Seriously though, I’m nominating Alberto Gonzalez, I was just kidding earlier” – this could be the best october 31st prank ever.

  6. 6
    demimondian says:

    Church-state separation: is there a “wall”? What are the limits, if any, on the authority for the federal government to support religious institutions? What are the limits, if any, on the authority of the federal government to acknowledge the traditions and requirements peculiar to individual sects? (e.g. Can an orthodox army chaplain be required to remove his kepok whenever he enters a building in uniform?)

  7. 7
    Dave Ruddell says:

    John, it appears that you’re posting from one hour in the future, or perhaps WV is staying on DST. I think you need to adjust a clock setting somewhere.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    Gonzalez would have been the worst of both worlds, and probably voted against Roe and other privacy issues while expanding the authority of the feds. It is beyond me why people think AG is a moderate.

    And you know his position on torture.

  9. 9
    jg says:

    Alito also dissented from a ruling by the Third Circuit that Congress has the power under the Commerce Clause to restrict the transfer and possession of machine guns at gun shows.

  10. 10
    Defense Guy says:

    I share Tim F’s interest in Alito’s views on the Commerce Clause and Property Rights, and would add an interest to know his views on Privacy (ie Griswold/Roe/Lawrence, Affirmative Action, and Free Speech (ie McCain-Feingold).

  11. 11
    Defense Guy says:

    Oops, John wrote this one. My bad.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Jaybird says:

    Has he ever smoked marijuana?

  14. 14
    Lines says:

    The biggest issue for Alito, in my mind, is the Implicit Right to Privacy as dictated by both Roe v. Wade and Griswold. Does he agree with the SCOTUS decisions that the right is implicitly declared within the Constitution or does he believe that the court decisions created the Right to Privacy?

  15. 15
    KC says:

    Executive powers, say Freedom of Information, Presidential Records Act, and the ability of the executive to do whatever, whenever, however he wants to per Nixon in Nixon v Administrator and US v Nixon.

  16. 16
    KC says:

    Note: of course torture fits into the “executive” issue as well.

  17. 17
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Fit this under privacy and property, though probably not the way John meant the latter.

    While I find several of Judge Alito’s decisions distasteful, it is Doe v. Groody, [2004] that I think most here will find distasteful.

    There was a warrant in response to an affidavit of crime (sale of illegal drugs). The affidavit requested to search not only the suspect but all occupants of a residence. The warrant does not include this permission but instead specifies only “John Doe”. The house was entered and all the occupants, not just the named one, were strip searched (to include looking in the body cavities). John and Mary Doe brought suit against the officers conducting the searches, and the city requested dismissal citing qualified immunity – officers (and other government representatives) doing their jobs are generally protected from suits brought for conduct during their jobs. Generally this protection is void if the individuals’ actions were not in accordance with rule of regulation and law.

    The case is about the qualified immunity and a claim the action was outside the pale. The decision was 2-1 against the qualified immunity. A couple of critical points include the fact that the officer submitting the affidavit to the magistrate is the same one who signed the warrant, and the “reasonable” test. The reasonable test was that one of the two extra occupants searched was a ten year old girl. Yep, the police entered and strip searched father, mother, and daughter. Further, the police admitted the search was not for protection (possibility of weapons or other threat) but for contraband. This is important because (along with other points) Alito’s dissension brings up and claims as valid this ‘protection’ issue despite officer’s disavowal of the reason.

    While it’s significantly longer and more reasoned, Alito basically says that officers who’ve asked for more in an affidavit should be protected by qualified immunity for searches that are within the request but not allowed by the warrant. In other words, a warrant’s limits are not firm.

  18. 18
    metalgrid says:

    Order of importance for me:
    Property: govt seizure, DMCA, IP, Commerce Clause
    Due Process: expanding police powers, 4th amendment
    Self-Defense: 2nd amendment
    Free-Speech: 1st emendment, legality of “free-speech zones”
    Privacy: as in abortion, sodomy, 9th amendment

    Although it may be a more prudent matter to just list the BoR and then attempt to analyse his position on that list.

  19. 19
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Edit to previous. John and Jane Doe brought suit against the officers on behalf of Mary Doe. Sorry for the fat fingering.

  20. 20
    Doug says:

    Ninth Amendment.

  21. 21
    ppGaz says:

    I put this list up at another thread, thus the dupe.

    This is the initial DKos “fightin’ words” list:

    Overturn Roe v. Wade. About 2/3rds of Americans would oppose overturning Roe.

    Allow race-based discrimination and discrimination based on disabilities.

    Opposes the Family and Medical Leave Act. In fact, he doesn’t just opppose it, he struck down the law in 2000. The Supreme Court reversed his decision. For Alito, workers shouldn’t be able to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of newborns or loved ones.

    Has no problem with unauthorized strip searches.

    In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home.

    Not only is strip searches of 10-year-old girls okay, but of wives as well since they are all merely that man’s chattel.

  22. 22
    Sojourner says:

    Oscar:

    Bravo

  23. 23
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Doe v. Groody makes him wholly unacceptable to me. This is a man whose attitude towards privacy and civil rights is more fitting in Cuba or North Korea than in the United States.

    His opinion in that case is so clearly results-oriented in favor of governmental intrusion into privacy that any libertarian who supports him ought to check into rehab.

  24. 24
    Emma Zahn says:

    Executive privilege
    Bush v Gore

  25. 25

    I’d like to know how he thinks on civil rights, limits to executive power, due process, privacy, and the relative importance of stare decisis. (In no particular order)

  26. 26
    metalgrid says:

    Geek, Esq.

    While Doe vs. Groody is a libertarian nightmare, you also need to consider that conservatives really don’t pay much attention to the 4th amendment. On the flip side, we do have a guy who is strongly 1st amendment and 2nd amendment – something a Democrat nominee would not be.

    Basically, if you’re a libertarian, you need to take the good with the bad – i.e. you’re not gonna get the perfect libertarian candidate from each of the parties, but you’re gonna get some good with that bad.

  27. 27
    oscar wilde says:

    sojourner.
    Try my clip “BBC Satire”
    http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/

  28. 28
    Geek, Esq. says:

    While Doe vs. Groody is a libertarian nightmare, you also need to consider that conservatives really don’t pay much attention to the 4th amendment. On the flip side, we do have a guy who is strongly 1st amendment and 2nd amendment – something a Democrat nominee would not be.

    Basically, if you’re a libertarian, you need to take the good with the bad – i.e. you’re not gonna get the perfect libertarian candidate from each of the parties, but you’re gonna get some good with that bad.

    What’s bad is not that he takes certain positions, but rather that he is a judicial activist, except one of a rightwing persuasion.

    Combine that with a disregard for the core principles of freedom and civil rights, and we’re in for a horror show.

  29. 29
    metalgrid says:

    Combine that with a disregard for the core principles of freedom and civil rights, and we’re in for a horror show.

    I’d venture that A1 and A2 are far more condusive to freedom and civil rights than is A4 since we’ve been forced to chose between them.

  30. 30
    slide says:

    I heard a rumor that Alito wrote Scalia a Hallmark card and said he was the greatest justice ever and very cool. Can anyone confirm?

  31. 31
    ppGaz says:

    He looks like a man who has eaten several babies.

    Besides …. where’s the salami?

    All seriousness aside, I hope that Marcos is right, and that this nomination will give Americans a real chance to see what “true” rightwing conservatism (as opposed to good old fashioned Goldwater conservatism) looks like.

  32. 32
    Lee says:

    Privacy
    Commerce Clause

    I agree that Doe v. Groody makes him unacceptable. I think I threw up a little when I read that.

  33. 33
    slide says:

    but seriously folks I think, that in these strange times, his views on the limits of executive power are important to know. A true conservative, hopefully, should not be for expanding the exectuive’s authority to hold american citizens without due process or to start limiting our basic rights as much in the Patriot Act does. To me that is so much more important than whether he believes in public displays of religious symbols.

  34. 34
    metalgrid says:

    Slide, I would venture that is exactly the reason Alito was nominated over someone like McConell or Luttig – because of his weak stance on A4 and due process. It’s just not reasonable to expect any nominee from this administration to do otherwise.

  35. 35
    demimondian says:

    Strongly first amendment? Huh? Which part of the first amendment are you talking about? Free speech? Freedom to assemble? Or “Freedom to assemble in free speech zones”?

  36. 36
    jg says:

    Strip searching a ten year old girl. Nice. So a judge sided with cops who searched someone they were told they can’t search? You have to be a liberal to think thats wrong?

  37. 37
    metalgrid says:

    demi,
    FOP v. Newark
    Blackhawk v. Penn
    Draw your own conclusions.

  38. 38
    Ancient Purple says:

    Two for me:

    1. Fourth Amendment protections.

    2. Congressional authority to regulate business practices or establish business mandates (i.e. minimum wage, etc.)

  39. 39
    Lines says:

    jg:

    it was just a frat prank. They were blowing off some steam when they forcibly looked up a 10 year old girl’s ass.

  40. 40
    Ancient Purple says:

    Strip searching a ten year old girl. Nice. So a judge sided with cops who searched someone they were told they can’t search? You have to be a liberal to think thats wrong?

    Strict constructionist or not, can anyone in their right minds actually think that Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, et. al. actually thought that strip searching minor that are not targets of a warrant would be okay?

    To say that such a thing is “orginal intent” is a load of crap.

  41. 41
    Geek, Esq. says:

    Alito’s #1 supporter for the Supreme Court: R. Kelly.

  42. 42
    Shygetz says:

    The areas that are most important to me are the nature of the Right to Privacy, limits to executive privilege, especially pertaining to “war powers” in the midst of a “war” against an undefined foe (an issue that I think will continue to be of importance regardless of who is in office next), the rights of Congress under the Commerce clause, and the Establishment clause of the First Amendment.

    On a similar note, I’ve always viewed the 2nd amendment as essentially ensuring the right of the people to revolt against the central government. The way I look at Alito as a social libertarian, he wants to make certain that we have both the means and the necessity to overthrow the police state. Not an appealing choice to me.

  43. 43
    jg says:

    I agree that its not beyond the thinking of a drug dealer to hide the drugs on his daughter but if the warrant doesn’t say you can search, if you asked for that and were denied, you don’t do it. Whats the value, for the right, in giving cops this power to ignore the limits of a search warrant? Why would you want someone like this on the court?

  44. 44
    John S. says:

    I think Alito’s views on the following cases might be worth looking into:

    Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) Re: Commerce Clause
    Mapp v. Ohio (1961) Re: Search Warrants
    Texas v. Johnson (1989) Re: Freedom of Speech

  45. 45
    demimondian says:

    FOP v. Newark [and] Blackhawk v. Penn

    Both of which put him solidly in the judicial mainstream on religious liberty tests. Both _FOP_ and _Blackhawk_ grant special rights to individuals on the basis of their particular religious affiliation, outside of strict scrutiny guidelines. Those decisions follow pretty clearly from the Santaria decisions, which both parties pretty largely supported.

  46. 46

    Most importantly…does the bill of rights apply the exact same way in peacetime as in wartime, and secondly what are his judicial views on the seperation of church and state.

    Those are my top priorities.

  47. 47
    DougJ says:

    I’m unhappy with his position on the landmark case Quitters v. Winners discussed on the Colbert Report last week.

  48. 48
    RA says:

    The left seems upset about torture but still wants to stick a scissors in the back of a babies head if the mother thinks its OK. The left likes torturing the innocent and the helpless. The scum of the earth they want to protect and put our people in harms way because of it. Is this anti-Americanism? You bet it is.

    All the ACLU types think searching people in appropriate circumstances or who are suspicious is unconstitutional. After all terrorists and drug dealers are the people they are really interested in protecting.

    Alito will be confirmed and the ACLU just lost one third of the cases they were going to win.

  49. 49
    StupidityRules says:

    It’s not a well known fact but “babies” “killed” with scissors goes straight to hell. “Babies” “killed” with coat hangers on the other hand goes straight to heaven.

  50. 50
    Krista says:

    The left seems upset about torture but still wants to stick a scissors in the back of a babies head if the mother thinks its OK.

    If you’re going to argue against abortion, at least do yourself a favor and research what the procedure actually entails, ok? I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t see “stick a scissors in the back of a babies head”.

    Just a hunch.

  51. 51

    Alito’s dissent on the infamous “machine gun” case is a two-fer for me. Not only is he non-hostile to Second Amendment rights, but he’s also unwilling to view the Commerce Clause as license for the federal government to do whatever it wants.

  52. 52

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