Transcript: Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Judge Samuel A. Alito
Tuesday, November 15, 2005; 12:30 PM
SENATOR FEINSTEIN HOLDS A MEDIA AVAILABILITY FOLLOWING A MEETING WITH JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO
SPEAKER: U.S. SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA)
JUDGE SAMUEL ALITO, NOMINEE FOR UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
FEINSTEIN: This is not a press conference, but if you want to ask me some questions -- thanks, Judge.
ALITO: Thank you, Senator.
FEINSTEIN: You're very welcome.
QUESTION: Can you step out here a little closer?
FEINSTEIN: Oh, all right.
QUESTION: Did you ask the judge about the job application issue with his comments about abortion?
FEINSTEIN: Yes, he did.
FEINSTEIN: And what he told me was this. He said, "First of all, it was different then." He said, "I was an advocate seeking a job. It was a political job. And that was 1985.
"I'm now a judge, you know. I've been on the circuit court for 15 years. And it's very different. I'm not an advocate. I don't give heed to my personal views. What I do is interpret the law."
And I believe he was very sincere in what he said. And he talked about Roe in particular, about having had many reviews; didn't use the word "well settled," but did use the word "stare decisis."
And I agree with one thing. I mean, we talked about labels. And I don't really think he can be labeled in that sense. He is an independent thinker. He thinks for himself. He's got clearly a very good mind.
And as I said to him, the real part of this that matters is what you say on the record that's transcribed and becomes fact or record for all time. And that, of course, will begin on January the 9th.