During a so-called “law enforcement week,” backers of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. began circulating an Internet ad yesterday defending the judge’s argument that the police were justified in strip-searching the young daughter of a man suspected of dealing drugs, says the New York Times. The ad is part of a broad effort by a coalition of conservative organizations to spotlight Alito’s record on law-and-order issues. The groups are touting the decision by the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union, to endorse Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court and are seeking signatures from former attorneys general who support his confirmation. John Ashcroft, the former attorney general under President Bush, and Griffin Bell, attorney general under President Jimmy Carter, have agreed to sign the letter.
The Internet ad from the Judicial Confirmation Network and focuses on Alito’s dissent in the 2004 case of Doe v. Groody, in which he argued that a team of female police officers had acted within the bounds of a warrant when they strip-searched the female companion of a man suspected of dealing drugs, and their 10-year-old daughter, while looking for drugs. Liberal advocacy groups have circulated ads saying that Alito “voted to approve the strip-search of a 10-year-old girl.” Conservatives attack “left-wing extremists” who oppose Alito, saying they “may have found new allies, drug dealers who hide their drugs on children.”