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US Supreme Court Nominee Faces Questions on Executive Powers, Abortion


U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has testified that no one is above the law, including a president during war time.

During a tough round of questioning Tuesday at his Senate confirmation hearings, Alito was asked how he would weigh presidential powers in war time against individual civil liberties.

Alito responded that the Bill of Rights (n the U.S. Constitution applies at all times, and no one is above the law.

The issue of presidential powers has been key since President Bush acknowledged authorizing a secret electronic surveillance program, monitoring communication between people in the U.S. and abroad without court warrants.

Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy said Alito's record shows he has "bent over backwards" to defend executive power.

Alito also testified that he believes the Constitution protects the right to privacy, a key foundation for the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion.

President Bush's nominee said courts should be guided by prior decisions, and that special circumstances are necessary to override such decisions.

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