Friday, November 04, 2005

speaking of patriarchy: Alito

an excellent op-ed piece by scott lemieux at American Prospect Online - Chipping Away.

much of the attention has been on scalito's dissent re: spousal notification in planned parenthood v. casey - and rightly so:

The core of Alito’s argument is his claim that the provision “cannot affect more than about 5 percent of married women seeking abortions or an even smaller percentage of all women desiring abortions.”

This is a highly problematic argument on its face. The reason that notification requirements (whether spousal or parental) are objectionable is precisely because, for all intents and purposes, they are applicable only to women in the worst family situations. Women in loving families will generally discuss their decision with their spouse or parents; it is women who feel they cannot who are affected by state coercion.

and further:

In addition, as the Supreme Court also argued forcefully, Alito’s acceptance of the legitimacy of the state’s interest seems to rest on quite reactionary assumptions about marriage. The spousal-notification provision, the plurality opinion correctly argued, “embodies a view of marriage consonant with the common-law status of married women, but repugnant to our present understanding of marriage and of the nature of the rights secured by the Constitution.” (As the opinion also pointed out, under Alito’s logic a law requiring a woman to notify her husband if she took emergency contraception, or if she drank alcohol during her pregnancy, would also presumably be upheld.) Alito’s reasoning sends bad signals not only about abortion but also about gender-equality jurisprudence more generally.

opposition to alito's nomination goes deeper than what he thinks about abortion; check also his record on sexual harrassment and worker's rights. consistently alito sides with power rather than those who need protection from that power.

i'm scared of a court like that.

aren't you?

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