Friday, November 04, 2005

Oppo Research

Let me just say that the Alito thing scares me a bit simply because he has been greeted as the Second Coming by the rightiest right. Anyone who gets these people so excited is not to be trusted.

But if your job is to sway the American people against this nomination, you're going to have to do better than saying that Alito believes that a husband should be notified if his wife is having an abortion (not a one-night-stand, not a boyfriend of two weeks -- a til-death-do-us-part spouse). I don't want to debate the situations wherein this might not be such a good idea (not his child, he's abusive, etc.), but the very idea that a husband should at least be given a heads up if his wife is going to abort a child she is carrying doesn't sound all that radical.

If this is as scary as the oppo research gets, expect Justice Alito come January.


Thrillhous said...

I hear you, Irod. So far it looks like regular people aren't too put off by Alito, so the good guys have a lot of work to do if they're going to justify derailing him.

Atrios links to a tidbit about Alito not recusing himself in a case where he should have, but unless it's the beginning of a pattern it ain't gonna do it.

Mr Furious said...

That's the problem. By whittling away at a woman's right, the right has moved the goalposts. Sure, it sounds reasonable to think a wife should notify a husband. In a good marraige, it wouldn't be an issue—she would. the problem arises when the state steps in and determines what a husband and wife must talk about. Especially when the impact is so disproportional (this isn't a like a joint tax return).

Over at my place I touch on this. But the piece I refer to at slate by Will Saletan does a better job (after all, he's actually a writer and he spends 1,000 words to make his point) of explaining what Alito's all about.

ORF said...

Another nugget to chew on: are there really THAT many married women out there having abortions? When I hear that word, the association I make is NOT someone who's traded's someone who up shit's creek without a babydaddy.

Mr Furious said...

Here is your issue.

Alito and Scalia both oppose the Family Medical Leave Act. We don't know about Roberts. THAT is an issue that might shake some people. Especially when you put it in the context of the Right's other objectives...

Pregnant? You must stay that way.

Pregnant and employed? You don't get maternity leave. Unpaid or anything. In fact, you don't have ajob to come back to unless you come back in a week.

Get into financial trouble because now you have a child and no job? The bankruptcy Bill makes sure you are screwed.

Some fucking family values.

Otto Man said...

I'm actually most concerned about the Doe case, in which police exceeded their warrant to search "John Doe" and instead strip searched his wife and ten-year-old daughter as well. Alito ruled in the police's favor.

That shows (a) he's willing to grant ridiculously broad powers to the state and (b) he is clearly not a strict constructionist. The warrant said A and he let them push it to the middle of the alphabet.

ORF said...

I'd also like to say that even though this bit about abortion seems relatively benign compared to say, how Eric Rudolph feels about things, I am still entirely suspect of Scalito.

Exhibit A: His nickname. 'Nuf said.

Exhibit B: The gigantic collective hard-on that the Conservative Right got as soon as he was nominerated by Bush.

Exhibit C: Mr. Furious' point about family values. I continue to be baffled by people who insist that abortion should be made illegal and yet also insist that we should curb the assistance given to women in welfare. Ok, so they get knocked up and then they become a drain on society and you pull the rug out from under them? Real nice.

Enough people take advantage of the welfare system as it is by adding children to their brood, so if you eliminate the opportunity to avoid those "additions" then you're just screwing yourself. (Sorry for the pun!)

Mr Furious said...

Thanks, orf. And in my hypotheticals upthread, shockingly, I was still talking in the context of a married woman in an intact family—and that was bad enough! Don't even get me started on the screw job on single women or women on welfare...

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

are there really THAT many married women out there having abortions?

According to the CDC, of the 853,485 legal induced abortions performed in 2001, 18% were for married women--rounding to the nearest one, that's 153,627 procedures.

I'd guess that a lot of husbands were in the know, because many couples are set on the number of children they want or think they can afford. But none of them have to know, and Alito should understand why.

This doesn't look like a filibusterable offense. If there are any, they better find them soon!

Volanta said...

The problem with Alito's dissent in Casey, is not just his dissent (because face it biology isn't fair and ultimately it comes down to one sex) but his analysis. He does it backwards. He agrees that 95% of women tell their spouses and that it is only 5% who do not. Instead of focusing on the 5% and the harm that could come to them, he focuses on the 95% and how good it is for that group. That is not how these analyses are supposed to work. Alito also discounts evidence of spousal abuse in these instances as not proven. He uses this tactic in a number of cases which could change the burden for plaintiffs if they have to show specific harm instead of potential harm.

No one has mentioned the machine gun case. Alito doesn't think machine guns harm interstate commerce and thus shouldn't be regulated by it. He's on crack.

Otto Man said...

It's not just machine guns -- that ruling is the result of a pre-New Deal reading of the commerce clause and signals that Alito would pretty much roll back a lot of the activity of the federal government in multiple spheres.