January 9, 2006


Majority of Americans Favor Alito Nomination (Richard Morin, 1/09/06, Washington Post)

As hearings begin today in the Senate on his nomination, the survey found that 53 percent of the public says Alito should be confirmed to serve on the court--virtually identical to the proportion that supported John Roberts' confirmation as chief justice four months ago. One in four--27 percent--say Alito should be rejected by the Senate.

Alito Called Harder Sell in Substance and Style (Maura Reynolds, January 9, 2006, LA Times)
Jennifer Duffy, who studies the Senate for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said she expected Alito to gain confirmation to the high court, but by no more than a handful of votes.

"He's going to have to make a really big mistake, or Democrats are going to have to succeed in turning him into a boogeyman, or he will be confirmed," Duffy said. "But the Democrats' efforts haven't succeeded so far, and they're running out of time."

Congressional strategists on both sides said they shared Duffy's view of the vote count. But with Republicans weakened, most recently by the influence-peddling scandal surrounding former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, some Democrats are mulling whether to try to thwart Alito's confirmation through a filibuster, a tactic in which a minority party can block a vote by refusing to end debate.

"We are more apt to filibuster now than we were two weeks ago," said one Democratic leadership aide on Capitol Hill, who requested anonymity when discussing party strategy.

That view was bolstered by comments on Sunday talk shows by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

If you want to be the permanent minority you have to be willing to really work at it.

Borking Judge Alito (John Cornyn, January 9, 2006, Washington Times)

With the battle over the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court set to take center stage on Monday, the American people have undoubtedly become familiar in past weeks with his critics -- along with their criticisms, attacks and mischaracterizations.

If the best predictor of future behavior is past performance, then it is reasonable to expect that a host of rather predictable, knee-jerk criticisms -- which have already been refuted with fact -- will be leveled against this fine nominee in a misguided effort to discredit his qualifications. [...]

The fact is, Judge Alito's rulings fall nowhere near the category of cases that the American people consider to be controversial, such as the redefinition of marriage, or the expulsion of the Pledge of Allegiance and other expressions of faith from the public square, or the elimination of the three-strikes-and-you're out law and other penalties against convicted criminals, or the forced removal of military recruiters from college campuses -- just to name a few. We should never confuse the struggle to interpret the ambiguous expressions of a legislature -- which is what Judge Alito and all good judges have done -- with refusing to obey a legislature's directives altogether.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 9, 2006 8:12 AM

I just came home from running around in my SUV. When not talking on my cell-phone, I was listening to NPR about Alito. Their program consisted of interviews of law professors and others of that ilk.

Without exception the experts I heard were unamimous in their approval of Alito's judicial record and in their agreement with the nominee that his opinions as an advocate are not material to his qualification as a judge.

It looks less and less as though we are going to need that weatherman.

BTW, we have also heard that Chappaquidick kid is going all out on that NSA story--who could have foreseen such a thing?

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 9, 2006 6:14 PM