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Alito hearings end with testimony from legal experts

[JURIST] Witness testimony at the confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] before the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] concluded Friday with experts both supporting and opposing the Supreme Court nominee. Duke Law School professor Erwin Chemerinsky [faculty profile] and former NARAL Pro-Choice America [official website] president Kate Michelman both took strong positions against the nomination. According to Chemerinsky, Alito's opinions from his 15 years on the bench and memos produced while he worked for Republican administrations indicate a "very troubling deference toward executive authority" and Michelman predicted Alito's confirmation would "move the court in a very different and dangerous direction for women's legal rights." On the other side, Yale law professor and former dean Anthony Kronman [faculty profile] cited his personal knowledge of Alito in asserting that the nominee does not have "a strong inclination to favor executive power over individuals' rights." Hofstra law professor Nora Demleitner, Alito's clerk from 1992-93, testified that the jurist "does not have a political agenda." Three panels of witnesses, a total of 17 law professors, private practitioners and judges [witness list] were called following Thursday's testimony from federal appeals court judges [JURIST report]. Fox News has more.

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