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Home | February 2006 Archives

  Questions for Alito, Part III | February 1, 2006


23. Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State; And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Act, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof". In your opinion, does this language require other states to recognize the Massachusetts "same sex" marriage procedures?

24. Article V, Section 4 says "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion". In your view, what is the Federal government required to do in response to the invasion of illegal aliens which has particularly affected such states as California, Arizona, and Texas, among others?

25. Article VI says "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land". In your view, does this require that treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate are the "supreme Law of the Land", even when such treaties are in conflict with provisions of the U.S. Constitution?

26. The First Amendment to the Constitution stipulates that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". (a) Do you agree that this language was included in the Constitution to prevent any interference by the Federal government in the establishments of religion which existed by authority of the legislatures of the several states which had joined in ratifying the Constitution? (b) In your view, are different interpretations of this clause valid for purposes of Constitutional interpretation?

27. The Second Amendment says "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". Do you believe that in light of this language any or all of Federally-enacted gun control laws are Constitutionally valid?

28. According to the Fourth Amendment, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized". (a) Do you believe that any branch of the Federal government has the authority to violate the Fourth Amendment for any reason whatsoever? (b) Do you believe that the requirements of the Fourth Amendment have ever been violated by the Federal government, if so, when, by whom, and in what circumstances?

29. The Fifth Amendment says that "nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb". Was not this provision set aside in the Rodney King case when law enforcement personnel were prosecuted for the same alleged offense under both state and Federal law?

30. The Sixth Amendment requires that "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed". (a) How do you interpret the term "speedy"? (b) When, in accordance with your definition, this provision is violated, what should be the remedy?

31. The Eighth Amendment says that "cruel and unusual punishments" may not be inflicted. How would you define a cruel and unusual punishment?

32. The Tenth Amendment says that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the Sates respectively, or to the people". (a) When powers which Constitutionally ought be reserved to the states are usurped by the Federal government, what remedy is available to states thus aggrieved? (b) Is nullification a valid response? (c) Is interposition an appropriate response?

33. The Thirteenth Amendment says that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction". In your view, does adherence to this amendment preclude the possibility of a military draft?

34. Many people have questioned the inclusion of the Fourteenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, inasmuch as part of a conditional readmission to the Union certain southern states were required to ratify this amendment. In addition, in some cases, ratification was enforced at the point of a gun by occupying military troops. (a) Do you think the Fourteenth Amendment was properly ratified? (b) If not, do you believe it should be enforced?

35. The Fourteenth Amendment says that no state may "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". (a) In your view, at what point does the unborn child qualify for consideration as a person? (b) At such point, does it become unconstitutional to deprive any such person of life without such person having been duly convicted of a crime by a jury of his or her peers?

36. The Fourteenth Amendment also says that no person shall be denied "the equal protection of the laws". In your view, does this make affirmative action laws unconstitutional?

37. The Sixteenth Amendment says that "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration". How do you define the term "incomes"?

38. The Nineteenth Amendment says "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex". Does this use of the word "sex" refer exclusively to gender, or can it be construed to cover sexually activity?

39. The XXVII Amendment to the Constitution says "No Law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened". Despite this language, which seems to preclude members of Congress from accepting pay increases recommended by commissions or operating in reliance on changes in the cost of living, are violative of the Constitution.

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