Bench Memos

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Alito Privacy Testimony


Under questioning from Senator Specter first thing this morning, Judge Alito testified consistent with the testimony of Chief Justice Roberts before the Judiciary Committee.

Judge Alito testified that he agrees the Constitution protects the right to privacy in a variety of ways.

He testified that the holding of the Griswold case regarding married couples’ use of contraception is now understood as based on the liberty component of the Due Process Clauses of the 5th and 14th Amendments.

He testified that he agrees with the result in the Eisenstadt case regarding use of contraception by unmarried persons.

He explained that in his three rulings on the Third Circuit involving abortion, he has twice voted to strike down statutes regulating abortion and once voted to uphold a statute regulating abortion because “that’s what the law required.” He testified that the Court should always make decisions based on the law, and should not “sway in the wind of public opinion.”


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