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Bench Memos

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NYT Misrepresents Alito



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In today’s anti-Alito editorial, the New York Times once again draws an inaccurate caricature of Judge Alito’s record. Many of the distortions have been addressed on Bench Memos before, but here’s a new one. The Times claims that “As a Reagan administration lawyer, he argued that Congress did not have the power to pass the Truth in Mileage Act to protect consumers from odometer fraud.” This is not quite true. In the memo, Judge Alito urged President Reagan to veto the Truth in Mileage Act because the federal government “should not” intervene in local used car sales, not that the federal government “can not” do so. The memo was also explicit that Alito’s recommendation was based upon the Reagan Administration’s advocacy of principles of federalism. It also noted that the bill was unnecessary because 45 states already had equivalent laws in place. This is abundantly clear from reading the memo (available here), but would be an understandable if the Times relied instead upon the materials released by activist groups instead. Is that how the Times researches its editorials?



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