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Brownback meets Alito

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Sen. Sam Brownback, who played such a big role in dooming the nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court, met with new nominee Samuel Alito on Tuesday.Brownback, who has been vocal about wanting the new justice to have an anti-abortion outlook, emerged from the meeting proclaiming that Alito fits the bill.But so did a notable senator from the other side of the abortion issue.[The New York Times][1] reports: " After a series of five back-to-back meetings, senators as diverse as Sam Brownback, the conservative Kansas Republican and staunch opponent of abortion rights, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the centrist Connecticut Democrat who backs a woman's right to abortion, said they were encouraged by what they had heard from Judge Alito, President Bush's choice for the Supreme Court. "'This is the type of nominee I've been asking for,' Senator Brownback said, adding that he was convinced that Judge Alito was 'open to a review of cases,' even though they did not explicitly discuss Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion."[The Associated Press][2] adds: "Alito also did not say whether he thinks there is a right to privacy in the Constitution, Brownback said, although the conservative judge has told other senators that he does. 'He did articulate that he thinks one should look at the Constitution as the document is set and try to interpret from that document, not trying to bring in things or seeing it as a living document,' said Brownback, who will be one of the senators quizzing Alito at his Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing."[Here's more AP coverage of Sen. Brownback's meeting with Judge Alito][3]The intelligence probe[Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank][4] reports about Tuesday's meeting of the new Senate committee charged with making progress on an inquiry into the Bush Administration's use of prewar intelligence on Iraq. Sen. Pat Roberts is the chairman of that committee.Milbank writes: "The six (committee members) did not agree on the key disputes: how long a probe would take, which administration officials would be interviewed, and how to handle the activities of former undersecretary of defense Douglas J. Feith's office. They punted the questions to a meeting of the full committee scheduled for this morning. And, by all accounts, it was tense. ... "Roberts, plainly irritated, announced even before reaching the microphones that 'there wasn't any' big news."Roberts angrily opposed the Democrats' theatrics last week when the minority party forced a closed session of the Senate to restore attention to the intelligence probe. Still seething, he reported that the six 'had a very frank and candid discussion' -- diplomatic code for tense and fruitless -- and added that the committee would act 'in a bipartisan manner to the degree we can achieve that.'"Other news and commentary highlights about the Kansas congressional delegation today:Sam Brownback links[(Family News in Focus) Senate Committee to Hold Pornography Hearing:][5] A Senate Subcommittee, chaired by Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, is holding a hearing tomorrow on why the government should care about pornography. It's the third in a series to call attention to the pornography industry and its effect. ... Pat Trueman, former head of the Justice Department's Obscenity Enforcement Group, believes the Brownback hearings will have an effect."Because of the pressure of Sam Brownback and the support of the American public, and the good will of the Attorney General, we are going to see the Justice Department have a strong effort against obscenity very soon."[(BP News) Congressmen urge Bush to protect chaplains' religious liberty:][6] The lawmakers focused most of their attention on guidelines recently proposed for Air Force chaplains, describing them as restrictive and suppressive. They also expressed concern that the guidelines, if adopted, might be implemented in the other branches of the armed services. Six days after Jones sent his letter, Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., wrote Bush Oct. 31 requesting he review the Air Force's interim guidelines and seek to make sure all military directives for chaplains "truly protect free exercise of religion."Pat Roberts links[(Washington Post) GOP Leaders Urge Probe in Prisons Leak:][7] Congress's top Republican leaders yesterday demanded an immediate joint House and Senate investigation into the disclosure of classified information to The Washington Post that detailed a web of secret prisons being used to house and interrogate terrorism suspects. ... The emergence of the congressional leaders' letter came as a surprise to House intelligence committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Senate intelligence committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), both of whom said they learned of the request from the media. Roberts said that his committee "stands ready to be of service" but that he had "not received any marching orders from the leadership."Todd Tiahrt links[(AP) Quotes from Kansas' debate over science standards:][8] "I believe Kansas students should receive information about the major theories on the origin of life. Proponents of the theories of intelligent design and evolution have well-known and respected scientists claiming scientific evidence to support the validity of each of these leading mainstream theories. Proponents of both theories should be confident enough in the science that they would welcome any scientifically based scrutiny by school children." - U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][9] [1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/09/politics/politicsspecial1/09confirm.html [2]: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5401455,00.html [3]: http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/breaking_news/13114721.htm [4]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/08/AR2005110801486.html [5]: http://www.yahoo.com [6]: http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=22026 [7]: http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/08/AR2005110800764.html [8]: http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/state/13115603.htm [9]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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