Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Any Questions?

Decisions Offer Clues to Court Pick's View of Divisive Issues - New York Times:
"One distinct theme emerges from an examination of 15 cases decided by Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. involving abortion: his thinking is shaped by a traditional concept of marriage.

His most famous abortion opinion, a 1991 dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, would have upheld a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to notify their husbands. 'Pennsylvania has a legitimate interest in furthering the husband's interest in the fate of the fetus,' Judge Alito wrote.

[...]

Last year, he ruled that the husbands of women forced to undergo abortions in China had themselves suffered persecution serious enough to warrant granting the men asylum in the United States. But he rejected similar claims from boyfriends or fianc├ęs of women who had been forced to have abortions.

The categorical distinction was warranted, he wrote, because marriage was a central organizing principle in the law. 'The marriage relation,' he wrote, is important in 'so many areas,' including 'income tax, welfare benefits, property, inheritance, testimonial privilege, etc.'

Extending the asylum protection 'to nonspouses would create numerous practical difficulties,' he wrote."

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