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Latest United States federal courts Stories

2006-01-10 10:05:33

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, who voiced opposition to abortion as a Reagan administration lawyer two decades ago, testified on Tuesday the Constitution protects the right to privacy, a key underpinning of the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. In the first round of questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing, President George W. Bush's 55-year-old conservative nominee also voiced respect for legal precedent. "I do agree that the...

2006-01-08 23:01:41

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Christian conservative leader Rev. Jerry Falwell said on Sunday that confirming Federal Appeals Court judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court would be the biggest victory for his constituency in three decades. "What we've worked on for 30 years, to mobilize people of faith and value in this country, what we've done through these years is coming to culmination right now," Falwell said at a rally on the eve of Alito's confirmation hearing. "Now we're looking...

2006-01-05 21:08:56

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said on Thursday it was unclear whether he could avoid a possible Democratic delay and get his panel to vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on January 17 as planned. "Let's see what happens," Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said after reports that Democrats on his panel intended to force a one-week postponement. Any member of the Republican-led panel has a right to delay a committee vote for a week....

2006-01-05 20:57:50

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said on Thursday it was unclear whether he could avoid a possible Democratic delay and get his panel to vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on January 17 as planned. "Let's see what happens," Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said after reports that Democrats on his panel intended to force a one-week postponement. Any member of the Republican-led panel has a right to delay a committee vote for a week....

2005-12-19 19:55:57

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key Republican senator asked Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on Monday about President George W. Bush's domestic spying order and whether war gives the president a blank check when it comes to civil liberties. In a letter to Alito, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, who will preside at Alito's Senate confirmation hearing next month, also asked what approach he would use to assess Bush's authority. "Historically, the court has...

2005-12-14 19:01:18

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nation's largest labor federation along with a coalition of groups that represent disabled Americans on Wednesday said they opposed U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, describing the 55-year-old conservative as a threat to worker and civil rights. The AFL-CIO and National Coalition for Disability Rights criticized Alito's work as a federal appeals judge the past 15 years, charging he has often sided with employers over labor with an...

2005-12-11 12:48:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Majority Leader Bill Frist said on Sunday he is prepared to change the U.S. Senate's rules if Democrats seek to block the nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Yes," the Tennessee Republican said on "Fox News Sunday," when asked if he would move to impose the so-called "nuclear option" to restrict use of the filibuster, in which members of a minority party can block a vote by using the right to virtually unlimited debate. Barring the use of...

2005-11-30 18:18:15

By Thomas Ferraro and Joanne Kenen WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, as a Reagan administration lawyer 20 years ago, outlined ways to limit abortion rights without overturning a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, a memo released on Wednesday showed. This strategy, Alito wrote as an assistant in the U.S. Solicitor General's Office, could curb the landmark ruling without generating headlines about a "stinging rebuke" of it. The 1985 memo...

2005-11-16 12:55:10

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid urged his Republican counterpart on Wednesday to withdraw a threat to change Senate rules to assure a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Reid said he had "early concerns" about Alito, describing President George W. Bush's nominee as "one of the most conservative federal judges in the country." But Reid said it was premature for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to threaten to...

2005-11-14 12:58:41

By Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito wrote 20 years ago as a lawyer in the Reagan administration "that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion," The Washington Times reported on Monday. The paper said it had obtained a copy of a memo in which Alito made the statement and expressed support for policies of the conservative administration of President Ronald Reagan, which opposed abortion rights and racial quotas. The memo...