Demonstrating how difficult it is to "demonize" Judge Alito on his abortion opinions, Dahlia Litwick offers a measured account of them. Heres a snippet:
Its almost impossible to predict what a judge will do with cases that present fact patterns that do not yet exist; and its hard to tell what an appellate court judge might do once hes seated on the high court. Certainly we should scrutinize Alitos 1985 job application for hidden motives, just as we should scan his opinions for judicial theory. But randomly classing together disparate abortion cases will tell us very little about Alito—save for the fact that hes not so reflexively pro-life or pro-choice that the rest of constitutional law is just wallpaper for him. That should give both sides in this discussion some measure of comfort going forward.
Im guessing it wont.
Im prepared to quibble with some of what she says, but not with the overall argument, which is that Alito can distinguish between his personal views and his role as a judge, and that, in the latter, he is a careful craftsman who takes a variety of considerations into account as he constructs his opinions. While PFAW and NARAL will no doubt try to make the most of tidbits taken out of context, they arent likely to succeed in derailing this nomination.