AP Rehashes Story on Alito Memo

An Associated Press story this morning reveals that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito authored a memo in 1985 that argues Roe v. Wade should be overturned — even though the same story was reported 23 days earlier.

“The latest memo,” the AP reports, “is certain to stir controversy as the Senate prepares for confirmation hearings for Alito, slated to begin Jan. 9.”

The story quickly made its way onto the Drudge Report, where it stayed atop the page for about 30 minutes. The prominent headline for the AP article was dropped and replaced with another one contrasting it to a Washington Times story from November 14.

M. Edward Whelan III, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, blasted the AP for its rehashing of history.

“The AP reports today, and Drudge headlines, the ‘news’ that in June 1985 Sam Alito, as an assistant to the Solicitor General, wrote a memo in the Thornburgh case on how the Department of Justice should advance the Reagan administration’s goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

“The memo that AP breathlessly reports is the exact same memo that was made public 23 days ago and that has already been the subject of extensive commentary,” Whelan continues. “Wake up, AP!”

UPDATE: Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Tex.), always on top of the latest news, released a statement this morning in which he, too, rehashed comments he made in November when the Washington Times broke the story on the Alito memo. Cornyn said it should come as no surprise that Alito is pro-life.

“Judge Alito says the same thing about abortion in this document that he said in the nearly identical draft of this document released weeks ago.  But to remind those who have already forgotten: in this memorandum, he was a government lawyer working for a President who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Nonetheless, unlike many other lawyers working in the Solicitor General’s office, he urged the government NOT to mount ‘a frontal assault on Roe v. Wade,’ but, instead, to adopt a more moderate course to ‘nudge the Court toward the principles in Justice O’Connor’s’ opinions. 
“You would think Judge Alito’s advice would actually cheer abortion rights supporters, but for those committed to ‘you name it, we’ll do it’ tactics to oppose his nomination, nothing, of course, will ever be good enough.”