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The New Yorker’s Guide to Surviving Alito

How Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito might reshape the law, and how to protect yourself.

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Cops
Alito’s appeals-court decisions show he would uphold the strip search of a suspect’s wife—and 10-year-old daughter—even though the search warrant didn’t name them. And he saw no problem with an eviction carried out by police officers waving a sawed-off shotgun around a family living room. Who cares? You can correct for this imbalance of power with the cops by buying yourself a machine gun!

Guns
Alito wrote a dissent arguing that Congress doesn’t have the power to restrict possession of machine guns. This legal philosophy has sweeping implications for gun laws, of course—but also many other acts of Congress, including civil rights and environmental legislation. But remember, owning an Uzi means never waiting in line for Odd Couple tickets again.

Church-State
Alito voted to uphold a crèche scene at a municipal building, arguing there was no state endorsement of religion since it included secular and Kwanzaa symbols. The good news for New Yorkers? There can finally be an official state Greek Orthodox priest and rebbe, as long as both agree to wear Frosty the Snowman pins in their beards.

Discrimination
Alito’s rulings show that he’d raise the barriers for victims of sex and race discrimination seeking redress in the courts, demanding a heightened standard of proof some critics deem almost impossible to meet. Avert future headaches by having your employer fill out forms indicating that he (1) fired you for refusing to have sex with him or (2) refuses to promote you because you’re Hispanic. If you can get him to notarize both, Alito would be grateful.

Abortion
Alito sees no problem with regulations that would require a grown woman in most circumstances to notify her husband before getting an abortion. Take heart, ladies: If you divorce your husbands now, the rule won’t apply to you later.


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