ROE v. ALITO….After a bit of routine brown nosing in a 1985 letter seeking a promotion in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department, Samuel Alito said this:

It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan’s administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly. I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued…that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that the constitution does indeed protect a woman’s right to an abortion. It’s a qualified protection, but a protection nonetheless, and Alito said he believed “very strongly” that this was incorrect not just as a personal matter, but as a “legal position.”

Question: In theory, the reason that Supreme Court nominees won’t comment on specific cases is because it might “prejudge” future decisions in related cases before arguments have been heard. However, having stated in 1985 that he believed Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, Alito has already prejudged his view in future cases testing Roe. So: is it OK to ask him if he still holds this view? If not, why not?

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