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FOX News Does PR For Judge Alito, One Issue At A Time

Reported by Ellen - November 3, 2005

Tuesday night, Hannity & Colmes had a single, pro-Alito guest to discuss what may have been his "most controversial" decision (allowing a Christmas display on government property). Last night (11/2/05), there was another single, pro-Alito guest to discuss his "most contentious case," the one where Alito opined that a machine-gun ban was unconstitutional. Unfortunately for substitute host Rich Lowry and the pro-Alito lawyer, Alan Colmes was armed with the facts that nobody could rebut.

The guest was just about as biased as you could get, short of having Alito's mother on. He was James H. Jeffries III, attorney for Raymond Rybar, a gun dealer sentenced for possesing and selling machine guns. Jeffries argued the case that the ban on machine guns was unconstitutional. Alito, in a lone dissent, was the only judge to agree.

Lowry started off the discussion by asking the "fair and balanced" question," " Wasn't this a case where Alito was just trying as hard as he could to apply the relevant Supreme Court precendent?"

Of course it was. Jeffries tried to argue that the case involved commerce, which "just happened" to involve machine guns but could just as easily have involved basketballs or automobiles. (Comment: Just like Roe v. Wade could just as easily have involved a tonsilectomy!)

When it was Colmes' turn, he was ready to go. (Comment: I have noticed that Colmes is often at his best when Hannity isn't there. Then again, who wouldn't be?) Colmes quickly said that the majority of Alito's court agreed with the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th circuits.

Jeffries seemed surprised by these facts. He started to argue that 12 judges have opined that the machine gun ban is unconstitutional. Then, after further probing from Colmes, Jeffries reluctantly admitted that "40 judges have heard this matter. 12 have gone one way, 28 have gone another way."

Colmes added, "Every federal court has upheld it, right?"

Jeffries, looking dejected, agreed that every appellate court that has heard it has upheld it.

The segment was over, the music began. Lowry, somewhat haplessly, remarked, "It seems to me so many of these controversial decisions are based on perfectly reasonable interpretations of the law that could have gone either way."

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