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Samuel Alito’s Media Circus Challenge

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Mobilizing is evidently in progress for challenging the Alito nomination

A coalition of liberal groups is preparing a national television advertising campaign against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. that seeks to move the debate over his selection beyond abortion rights and focus instead on subjects like police searches and employment discrimination, several leaders of the coalition said.

It would appear as if the case against Alito in the arena of abortion rights rulings isn’t strong enough to stand by itself, so the scrutiny will extend into other personal rights issues.

Last week, the alliance released results of a poll that highlighted elements of the judge’s record unrelated to abortion that the liberal groups say could have greater resonance with moderate voters.

Among the issues raised by the poll was Judge Alito’s support as a lawyer in the Reagan administration for an employer’s right to fire someone who had AIDS. Another issue was a judicial opinion he wrote supporting a police strip-search of a suspected drug dealer’s female companion and her 10-year-old daughter. Others included his votes as a judge against employment discrimination suits and an opinion overturning part of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

There should, and will, be examination of Alito’s record in these rulings … that’s what the Senate approval process is responsible for determining.

What’s key though is how his rulings, and justification, agree with constitutional interpretation.

Is it appropriate then for these cases to be played out in the media the way that is being promised?