Stretching executive power

The confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito upsets the Supreme Court autonomy.

The Samuel Alito appointment and confirmation is not a death sentence to a woman’s right to an abortion; instead, the decision pushes the boundaries of executive power, giving one man a lot more power than he can justly and competently handle.

With a vote of 58-24, Alito was confirmed as the 110th Supreme Court justice. President George W. Bush nominated Alito after Sandra Day O’Connor, a woman who was often the swing vote on decisions, resigned her post. Alito is known for his tendency to swerve toward uncontested executive authority. More and more evidence suggesting Alito is an advocate of strong presidential power continues to be revealed.

Alito is obsessed with governmental authority and supports various infringements on the privacy of citizens, from illegal wiretapping by the government to relaxed warrant requirements. Like Bush, Alito favors the president signing statements on bills, which is intended to influence and identify presidential support on said bills.

An investigation by Knight Ridder newspapers examining hundreds of opinions by Alito found that he prefers lenient search-warrant requirements, as made evident by that Alito almost always found warrants legal despite that the legality of some cases may have been questionable. These issues are particularly important now. During an attempt to curb terrorism, anti-terror tactics often violate what is normally protected under constitutional law. As issues with the Patriot Act surface again, Alito’s confirmation makes the Supreme Court’s ability to remain uninfluenced dubious.

According to Phillip Cooper, professor and presidential scholar, the president has issued many statements admitting the discarding of provisions in bills that in any way hinder the powers of the executive branch. Considering the role of judges in balancing the power between the executive and legislative branches, the appointment of Alito was strategic. Alito’s position of protecting executive powers over constitutional checks and balances leaves a lot of room for authoritarianism. Although Bush and Alito are convinced otherwise, the presidential position does not entail absolute power.