Progress Now reports on a radio broadcast today during which Focus on The Family's Dr. James Dobson disclosed a personal letter he had received from newly-appointed Justice Samuel Alito. The letter, which was written on his official stationary, raises serious questions as to whether Justice Alito can be expected to be impartial on critical issues pending before the Supreme Court.
Dr. Dobson introduced the letter to listeners against the backdrop of expressing his concern for how the Court will decide issues important to Focus on the Family, including abortion, the definition of marriage and freedom of religion. Dobson noted the group's strong support for both Chief Justice John Roberts and Alito. He then read Alito's letter to his listeners as a form of comfort that the Court will do the right thing. The letter reads:
Dear Dr. Dobson,
This is just a short note to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the entire staff of Focus on the Family for your help and support during the past few challenging months.
I would also greatly appreciate it if you would convey my appreciation to the good people from all parts of the country who wrote to tell me they were praying for me and for my family during this period.
As I said when I spoke at my formal vestiture at the White House last week, the prayers of so many people from around the country were a palpable and powerful force.As long as I serve on the Supreme Court, I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed in me.
I hope we'll have the opportunity to meet personally at some point in the future. In the meantime, my entire family and I hope that you and the Focus on the Family staff know how much we appreciate all that you have done.
While it is completely understandable that Justice Alito would want to thank those who supported him during the confirmation process, he demonstrates a complete lack of sensitivity to the appearance such a letter would give in showing favoritism towards a controversial special interest group which publicly advocates positions in cases pending before the Court.