Note To WSJ: Alito Had a Record on Abortion Too

Today the Wall Street Journal ran the groundbreaking scoop that possible Supreme Court nominee Diane Wood has a record when it comes to the issue of abortion. Apparently, the WSJ finds this most remarkable and almost unheard of:  

Recent Supreme Court nominees have come before the Senate with such slim records on abortion that their views were anybody’s guess.

Not so with Diane Wood, a Chicago federal appellate judge who is on the White House’s short list of candidates for the latest high-court vacancy.

The WSJ claims that recent nominees have had “records virtually devoid of substantive statements on the matter” … apparently having completely forgotten about, say, the substantive statements made by Samuel Alito on the matter: 

In a memo disclosed Wednesday that he wrote in 1985 as an assistant to the solicitor general, Alito recommended that the administration submit a brief to the Supreme Court, asking it to uphold a Pennsylvania law that imposed a variety of abortion restrictions and “make clear that we disagree with Roe v. Wade.”

Alito argued that stepping into the case, Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, would be a more effective strategy for President Reagan than a “frontal assault” on the landmark case and would not “even tacitly concede Roe’s legitimacy.” Disagreeing with the administration’s position, the court struck down the law the following year.

Alito was 35 years old and a civil-service lawyer when he wrote the abortion memo in May 1985. It was just six months before he sent a letter to then-Attorney General Ed Meese as part of his successful application for a higher-ranking political appointment, saying that he was “particularly proud” of his contribution to cases in which the administration argued “that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.”

In the memo, Alito wrote: “What can be made of this opportunity to advance the goals of bringing about the eventual overruling of Roe v. Wade and, in the meantime, of mitigating its effects?” He then urged the Justice Department to argue that provisions in the Pennsylvania law “are eminently reasonable and legitimate and would be upheld without a moment’s hesitation in other contexts.”

He referred to a doctor who performs the procedure as an “abortionist” and railed against a different court decision that had struck down an ordinance that he said was “designed to preclude the mindless dumping of aborted fetuses into garbage piles.” He called the decision “almost incredible.”