November 1, 2005

Alito Lit. 101

Hatched by Dafydd

There are two main cases tried by Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito that will whip all the Democrats into a froth of hysteria. First, Patterico has a great analysis of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito's dissent from a ruling that reaffirmed but rewrote Roe v. Wade.

Second, John at Power Line does the same for another major case that has gotten a lot of attention: Alito's dissent from a decision that rejected dismissal of a lawsuit against police officers for "strip searching" (by a female cop, of course) a mother and her ten year old daughter who were found in a methamphetamine den (Patterico adds his own two centavos worth, disagreeing with John Hinderaker about Alito's dissent but agreeing that there was nothing terrible or even untoward about it).

These will likely be the two lines of attack by leftists against Judge Alito; we should read up on them to gird ourselves for battle.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 1, 2005, at the time of 3:26 AM

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The following hissed in response by: RBMN

If I heard correctly, Justice Rehnquist's subsequent SCOTUS dissent in the case (Planned Parenthood) cited Alito's "Planned Parenthood v. Casey" opinion very favorably, but obviously couldn't get a majority of the Court on his (and Alito's) side. As long as there are adequate protections for the hard cases (violent husbands, husbands who skipped town, husbands who are not the biological father, etc.) built into the law, the People have every right to make the husband a little bit significant, even before the bills need to be paid. Normally, that's the only time government thinks Dad is significant.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 10:25 AM

The following hissed in response by: Patterico


I should note that I didn't come to an explicit conclusion on the strip-search case. My reaction was tentative based on a quick scan of the case. I try to make it a practice to read a decision thoroughly before opining -- something I recommend to anyone discussing judicial opinions. But you are correct that my *tentative* feeling is that, while Alito makes some good points, I would probably have come out the other way.

The above hissed in response by: Patterico [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 12:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


But was I also correct in saying that, even though you tentatively disagree with Alito's decision, you do not believe that his decision was troubling in any way?


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 1:18 PM

The following hissed in response by: Patterico

Yes. I'm not troubled. I think his argument is reasonable.

Indeed, having read the opinion carefully, I now agree with part of his analysis, but disagree with the rest. I don't think the warrant authorized the search, but I think the officers should have been entitled to qualified immunity.

The bottom line is: this had nothing to do with 1) strip-searching as a method of searching; or 2) the age of the person searched. It was a simple matter of interpreting the scope of a warrant. It is the sort of thing about which judges have disagreements all the time.

The above hissed in response by: Patterico [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 2:28 PM

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