ALITO AND ROE….This is weird. A couple of days ago Samuel Alito told Arlen Specter that he believed in a generalized right of privacy as defined by Griswold v. Connecticut. Today he told Dick Durbin that one of his favorite justices was John Harlan, who wrote a concurring opinion in Griswold. He also told Durbin that he “spent more time worrying and working over” his dissent in Casey v. Planned Parenthood than any other decision in his career, and then reiterated his belief in a constitutional right to privacy.

Now, for some reason it’s taboo in American politics for a prospective justice to simply tell us what he thinks of the reasoning in Roe v. Wade, but the next best thing is to tell us what he thinks of the reasoning in Griswold, which is the cornerstone of Roe. As near as I can tell, Alito is going out of his way to signal that he has no interest in overturning Griswold or Roe, and that even his dissent in Casey was a close call.

I wonder how long it’s going to be before social conservatives cotton to Alito’s coded acceptance of Roe and turn on him the same way they did on Harriet Miers? James Dobson can’t be too happy about this.

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