The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Alito, a conservative ideologue

On Tuesday, Samuel Alito was confirmed as the new Supreme Court Justice despite raised concerns from prominent Democratic senators of the Judiciary committee. The Democratic committee questions Alito’s stance on the role of executive power, abortion and civil rights, all stemming from his extreme conservative background in which he was a part of the Regan administration and the Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

CAP was reportedly against the integration of women and minorities in higher education. Alito has repeatedly claimed that he was not an active member of CAP. However, Democrats have capitalized on the membership, using it to classify him as a hard-line conservative.

The political right view the Democrats’ attack of Alito as baseless, while many on the left see his CAP membership as an indication that he will rule as a conservative ideologue. Alito is certainly conservative, as his past court decisions have been marked with a conservative mindset. In the 1991 court case Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, Alito was the lone judge that voted women should notify their spouses before getting an abortion. Not only has Alito taken a conservative stance on abortion, but he has also ruled against employees filing discrimination suits.

Americans must realize that any court candidate President Bush nominates will align with his conservative values. The court will tilt to the right because, unlike Sandra Day O’Connor, Alito is not a swing vote judge. Many of his views on the environment, abortion, work discrimination lawsuits, and the death penalty are conservative. So, the question remains, will Alito prove to be a conservative ideologue or a fair and objective judge?

Alito has said he will rule with an “open mind” concerning abortion cases. However, with the absence of O’Connor’s swing vote, how far will America veer to the right? O’Connor’s swing vote was important because it ensured that she would stand for abortion rights and environmental causes and still give the right a fair chance to present their argument. She was vital in keeping the courts balanced. Although Alito may not side with conservatives in every case, but still, for the sake of judicial balance, someone in the vein of O’Connor should have been nominated instead.

The confirmation of John Roberts as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court dictated that the court would naturally shift to the right. Alito will make the courts lean heavily to the far right. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court is a lifelong position that must be above political insults from the left and political wishful thinking from the right.

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