As for the Planned Parenthood decision, I think I''m about to have a heated argument with my husband, which makes typing incredibly difficult. Especially since I haven't had enough coffee yet this morning. And I really need to grab more caffeine, because I think he may call me the dreaded "C" word, which means he may have to sleep on the couch tonight. And that's "C" for "Conservative" - the worst insult he can think of.
In a 1999 case, Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark, the 3rd Circuit ruled 3-0 that Muslim police officers in the city can keep their beards. The police had made exemption in its facial hair policy for medical reasons (a skin condition known as pseudo folliculitis barbae) but not for religious reasons. Alito wrote the opinion, saying, "We cannot accept the department's position that its differential treatment of medical exemptions and religious exemptions is premised on a good-faith belief that the former may be required by law while the latter are not."
In July 2004, the 3rd Circuit Court ruled that a Pennsylvania law prohibiting student newspapers from running ads for alcohol was unconstitutional. At issue was Act 199, an amendment to the Pennsylvania Liquor Code passed in 1996 that denied student newspapers advertising revenue from alcoholic beverages. Alito said the law violated the First Amendment rights of the student newspaper, The Pitt News, from the University of Pittsburgh. "If government were free to suppress disfavored speech by preventing potential speakers from being paid, there would not be much left of the First Amendment," Alito wrote.
In 1999, Alito was part of a majority opinion in ACLU v. Schundler. At issue was a holiday display in Jersey City. The court held that the display didn't violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment because in addition to a creche and a menorah, it also had a Frosty the Snowman and a banner hailing diversity.
In the case of Homar v. Gilbert in 1996, Alito wrote the dissenting opinion that a state university didn't violate the due process rights of a campus police officer when they suspended him without pay after they learned he had been arrested on drug charges.
One of the most notable opinions was Alito's dissent in the 1996 case of Sheridan v. Dupont, a sex discrimination case. Alito wrote that a plaintiff in such a case should not be able to withstand summary judgment just by casting doubt on an employer's version of the story.
In Fatin v. INS (1993), Alito joined the majority in ruling that an Iranian woman seeking asylum could establish eligibility based on citing that she would be persecuted for gender and belief in feminism.
In a 1996 ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a federal law banning the possession of machine guns, Alito argued for greater state rights in reasoning that Congress had no authority to regulate private gun possession.
Monday, October 31, 2005
So we have another Supreme Court nominee, and this one doesn't seem to be an insult to the nation's intelligence level. He, at least, has a pretty heavy resume. I'm sure that over the next few weeks, there will be enough discussion on the Planned Parenthood decision to make all the political bloggers happy. And, one of the great things about the blogosphere is that you can find opinions as soon as things happen....such as this post on the horrible things that Alito will do. The nickname "Scalito" is enough to scare me. But most of this doesn't sound so bad: