A CNN segment on Thursday featured a random college classmate of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who was interviewed because she organized a letter protesting his leaked draft opinion that would overturn the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade.
Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday, Susan Squier, a member of the Princeton University graduating class of 1972, slammed Alito’s draft opinion, saying it reads like “a greatest hits of misogyny” and that it reminded her of the Salem witch trials.
“When I read the document — I read all 98 pages of it, and mind you, I’m trained as a scholar of literature and medicine, and I look at nuance. And when I saw that he had smuggled into the document the wording from the Mississippi Gestational Age Act, which, as I understand it — now I’m not a lawyer — but isn’t even law yet. And he was referring to unborn children rather than fetuses. I was just stunned,” Squier, a Penn State University professor, told host John Berman.
“I mean, I have read a lot of medical history going back for doing literature and medicine, and his is like a greatest hits of misogyny,” she said.
“He doesn’t consider the context. And this man was a historian at Princeton. He was a double major in history and Poli sci. But it is as if he doesn’t believe history actually involves a record of things changing. Instead, it is history as, ‘let’s go back to the Salem witch trials.’ It makes me so angry,” she continued.
Alito’s draft court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked to Politico last week, which set off a political nuclear bomb. In his draft, Alito writes, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have inflamed debate and deepened division.”
Since the opinion was leaked, abortion rights advocates have sounded their fury, protesting outside the homes of the six Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices and demanding that Democrats act swiftly to codify Roe into federal law.
Squier and a handful of other women who were a part of Alito’s graduating undergrad class in ’72 joined the protesters with a letter published on May 9, in which they declared their shock and outrage over the conservative justice’s draft majority opinion.
“As a pioneering class of Princeton women, we find it bitter indeed to see the draft Supreme Court opinion reverse the strides we thought we were making, as part of one of the first classes of Princeton women, towards a world of equity and fairness for women of all races and social and economic positions,” the Princeton grads write.
The letter encourages others to protest, stating, “We ask our classmates, and the community of Princeton, to protest the logic that ties us to a constitutional originalism which resists any movement toward justice but, rather, moves us backwards.”
Squier told CNN that the decision to put the letter together happened very quickly.
“It is not that we’re doing this because we hope it will change things. I don’t know. Wouldn’t that be lovely? I don’t know, maybe. I’m not that naïve, but there is a time when you just have to speak out,” she said. “And those of us who went to Princeton have a privilege of having gone there, we can get listened to. So, we have to speak for the women who cannot get listened to, the women who are going to be massively impacted — I hate that word — by this horrible new decision.”