Judge Alito’s Remarks on Abortion

The following are the entire remarks of Samuel Alito, Jr. when he applied for the post of Deputy Assistant Attorney General in 1985 under Attorney General Edwin Meese.

I am and always have been a conservative and an adherent to the same philosophical views that I believe are central to this Administration. It is obviously very difficult to summarize a set of political views in a sentence but, in capsule form, I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values. In the field of law, I disagree strenuously with the usurpation by the judiciary of decision making authority that should be exercised by the branches of government responsible to the electorate. The Administration has already made major strides toward reversing this trend through its judicial appointments, litigation, and public debate, and it is my hope that even greater advances can be achieved during the second term, especially with Attorney General Meese’s leadership at the Department of Justice.

When I first became interested in government and politics during the 1960s, the greatest influences on my views were the writings of William F. Buckley, Jr., the National Review, and Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign. In college, I developed a deep interest in constitutional law, motivated in large part by disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particularly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause, and reapportionment. I discovered the writings of Alexander Bickel advocating judicial restraint, and it was largely for this reason that I decided to go to Yale Law School.

After graduation from law school, completion of my ROTC military commitment, and a judicial clerkship, I joined the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, principally because of my strong views regarding law enforcement.

Most recently, it has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan’s administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly. I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.

As a federal employee subject to the Hatch Act for nearly a decade, I have been unable to take a role in partisan politics. However, I am a life-long registered Republican and have made the sort of modest political contributions that a federal employee can afford to Republican candidates and conservative causes, including the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Conservative Political Action Committee, Rep. Christopher Smith (4th Dist. N.J.) , Rep. James Courter (12th Dist. N.J.), Governor Thomas Kean of N.J., and Jeff Bell’s 1982 Senate primary campaign in N.J. I am a member of the Federalist Society for Law and public Policy and a regular participant at its luncheon meetings and a member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton University, a conservative alumni group. During the past year, I have submitted articles for publication in the National Review and the American Spectator.

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