Bench Memos

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Laughable Lautenberg


The senior Senator from New Jersey is a fairly comic figure, trying to oppose home state Judge Alito. . . Lautenberg’s reading some speech that sounds like it was written by a 23 year-old legislative assistant who hasn’t read all the way through the Constitution. (Maybe the leg assistant just read that clause about the constitutional right to abortion.)

As Rick observed, this is largely about how, as Lautenberg puts it, “women want government’s hands off their bodies.” (Lautenberg is still reading from some NOW pamphlets written in the 1970s . . . you have to forgive him . . . he didn’t really expect to be back here making speeches. Moreover, some women aren’t worried about the whole government, but just would be content if certain Senators would keep their hands off their bodies.)

So, presumably Judge Alito wants government’s hands all over women’s bodies? But, Lautenberg is quick to remind us, “He’s a good, decent man, an ethical man, and I don’t think he has any bigoted views.”

But, says Lautenberg, “I want to be on the side of protecting women’s rights and protecting the little people.”

But not really little people . . . not young human beings killed by abortion. Not people who are THAT little! They will never be New Jersey voters, or left wing political campaign donors.


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