I'll join the chorus of people right of center who are pleased that the Miers nomination was withdrawn and that the President nominated Judge Alito for associate justice. Ann Althouse has been making several excellent posts, including one that links to this AP story. My own view on the Miers nomination was that the President tried to deliver a solid conservative vote in the way that has become customary in the post-Bork era--without having to reveal the nominee's judicial philosophy during the confirmation process.
Admirably, and to the benefit of the country, when the conservative base didn't seem to get the message, the President responded by sending it in an unmistakable way, with a judge with solid conservative and intellectual credentials and over a decade of judicial opinions. Let's call that Alito's way. Since these Supreme Court confirmations seem to reduce to the abortion issue, here (quoting from the article) is why the President's message to his base is so clear:
Among his noteworthy opinions was his lone dissent in the 1991 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that included a provision requiring women seeking abortions to notify their spouses.That's clarity.
"The Pennsylvania legislature could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands' knowledge because of perceived problems — such as economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands' previously expressed opposition — that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion," Alito wrote.
The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, struck down the spousal notification, but Chief Justice William Rehnquist quoted from Alito's opinion in his dissent.
I have to say that I am sympathetic to the reasoning behind Alito's opinion. I firmly believe that no government should have the power to compel a woman to endure childbirth if she decides she doesn't want to. I have wrestled with the competing claims--that one wins. But laws regarding notification don't presume that power. They may have the outcome that an abortion is avoided. If the state legislators in Pennsylvania, on behalf of their constituents, have decided that avoiding that outcome trumps other social considerations, then they should by all means enact such a spousal notification law. This is an issue that should be resolved in Harrisburg, not Washington, DC.
And my belief that with a Justice Alito on the Supreme Court, more issues will be resolved by legislatures rather than courts, is why I hope Alito is confirmed.