Allard Predicts Senate's Confirmation Of Alito

Denver (AP) Colorado Senator Wayne Allard is predicting that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito will win the senate's backing. The Republican plans to support the nominee barring any suprises. Allard met with Alito for about a half–hour Tuesday afternoon.

Alito was on Capitol Hill to talk to senators, including
members of the judiciary committee. The senator says he's impressed by the nominee's credentials and performance as a federal judge. He says Alito seems to respect the separation of powers among the three branches of the government.

Allard also expects Alito to be a quick study on such western issues as water and American Indian law. He says Alito dealt with some of those issues while in the Solicitor General's Office in the Reagan Administration and Allard doesn't think Alito's statements from the 1980's about abortion will derail his confirmation.

Alito was trying Tuesday to distance himself from comments that the constitution doesn't protect the right to an abortion. He says he was applying for a job as an advocate when he said that. Alito would replace retiring justice Sandra Day O'Connor who has been a deciding vote on abortion on the Supreme Court.

Hearings on his nomination are scheduled to start January ninth.

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