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Is the anti-Alito ad true? Of Factcheck.org and Fox

Yesterday, a coalition of groups lead by People for the American Way released a television ad opposing Judge Sam Alito's nomination to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.  The ad, "West Wing," discusses Alito rulings on abortion, strip searches and racial discrimination. When I read on TalkLeft and heard on the Supreme Court Watch Podcast that Fox News refused to air the ad (CNN is running it, according to PAW's press release), I hightailed it over to Factcheck.org. Factcheck.org is the Annenberg Political Fact Check site to which I became addicted during last year's election. Here's their take on the ad:

"Liberal Ad Against Alito: True As Far As It Goes. We supply background that's missing from the 30-second spot.

Summary

A mostly liberal group's ad says  Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito made a ruling "to make it easier for corporations to discriminate" and also "voted to approve the strip search of a 10-year-old girl."

"As is often the case with 30-second ads, there's more to it than that.

"Alito did dissent from a 1997 ruling that allowed an African-American woman to sue Marriott Corp. for discrimination because a white woman got the supervisor's job she wanted and thought she had been promised at a hotel in New Jersey. Alito agreed that the black woman may have been "treated unfairly" by her employer, but ruled that she had produced too little evidence of racial discrimination to allow her lawsuit to go forward. Marriott argued that the white woman whom they brought in for the job had more training, had worked at a larger hotel and had supervised higher-ranking employees.

"Alito also objected to allowing a Pennsylvania couple to sue local police for strip-searching their daughter during a methamphetamine raid in 1998. Although no drugs were found in the raid, police argued that their warrant allowed them to search "all occupants" of the house. And while Alito said the warrant allowed the search, he made clear he disapproved the search on a personal level, expressing a "visceral dislike" for such intrusive methods.

"The ad also notes, quite accurately, that as a government lawyer 20 years ago Alito wrote that the Constitution "does not protect the right to an abortion."

Read on for Factcheck.org's full assessment, a text summary of the ad and PDFs of Alito's related opinions and 1985 application for a job with the Reagan Administration.

Posted by Laurel Newby on November 23, 2005 at 09:57 AM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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