Bench Memos

Pro-Alito Ad

Ann Althouse supports Alito’s confirmation but is “disgusted” by a Committee for Justice ad for him.

The ad says that liberal groups opposed to Alito “want to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance and are fighting to redefine traditional marriage. . . . support partial birth abortion, sanction the burning of the American flag, and even oppose pornography filters on public library computers.” Althouse writes, “This is very similar to the way the White House presented Harriet Miers, as a social conservative who would vote for outcomes that would please social conservatives.”

I think she’s misinterpreting the ad. CFJ isn’t saying, let’s confirm Judge Alito because he’ll vote with (most) conservatives on flag burning. It’s saying that his opponents are committed to an extreme agenda and want it imposed through the courts, and that’s why they’re opposing him. The point isn’t that Alito is guaranteed to vote to allow bans on partial-birth abortion–although, were it known that he was, I would have no objection to ads making that point, since I favor a more democratic constitutional law–it’s that the opponents are so committed to partial-birth abortion that they won’t give him a chance.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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