Alito on the First Amendment

Civil liberties are of paramount concern to TalkLeft, right along with constitutional rights of the accused. First Amendment Center has this analysis of Judge Alito, having analyzed 20 majority opinions he authored during his tenure on the 3rd Circuit.

A preliminary examination of his First Amendment opinions suggests that Alito is: (1) quite protective of several categories of expression, including religious and commercial expression; (2) far less protective of First Amendment claims raised by prisoners; (3) guardedly protective of First Amendment rights in defamation cases, and (4) generally concerned about prior restraints on expression.

Overall, his opinions suggest he is scholarly in his approach to deciding such cases, and sensitive to precedent but nonetheless capable of working around it when he deems necessary.

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  • Re: Alito on the First Amendment (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:05:36 PM EST
    Some of you say that if the Democrats try to filibuster Alito, then they will be "nuked", and thus they will lose a chance to mount a real opposition when it comes to Stevens, Ginsburg or others. Perhaps it's true, but let's be realistic. A nuklear option is a blackmail, which can be used freely all the time. Let's say that J. P. Stevens retires during the Bush presidency (I really hope he doesn't do it!). If we take into the account only the credentials of his successor, Bush can come up with a bulk of well-educated and bright right-wing judges. And what then? Will there be a reason to filibuster? Of course not on the basis of his qualifications. And today, with Alito, it's also not about his qualifications, but about his philosophy. The reason to filibuster is as good as it can be. A nuklear option is a threat, but this threat will always be hanging - as long as the majority is willing to use it. Surely there is the question when to fight this war. Is it worth it now or whether it's better to wait? I don't know. Perhaps this is the moment. But if someone thinks that the Republicans will be willing to accept a filibuster in the future, when it comes to replacing the more liberal Justices, this person is dead wrong.