January 16, 2006


Alito Hearings Unsettle Some Prevailing Wisdom About the Politics of Abortion (DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, 1/16/06, NY Times)

Just a little over a year ago, senators of both parties said publicly that it would be almost impossible for a Supreme Court nominee who disagreed openly with the major abortion rights precedents to win confirmation.

But partisans on either side now say that last week's confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. cast doubt on such assumptions.

All eight Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee have indicated they believe that Judge Alito would threaten abortion rights. All are expected to vote against him, although the parties are still disputing the date of the committee's vote. But many concede that his confirmation is all but assured and that their party is unlikely to try to stop it through a filibuster.

Who was the last winning presidential candidate to openly agree with the precedents? Jimmy Carter?

What the Democrats Fear (New York Sun Staff Editorial, January 16, 2006)

The news from Capitol Hill this week will be the vote that doesn't take place. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee will delay by up to a week action on Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, though the consensus, at least at the moment, seems to be that the Democrats will fail to block Judge Alito's confirmation.

That hasn't stopped them from trying, as they grilled Judge Alito for hours on end and even made his wife cry. Thanks to their efforts, we now know a lot more than we did before. Not about Judge Alito, whose judicial philosophy wasn't any great mystery after his 15 years riding the Third Circuit, but about the Democrats themselves. Now we know what they're afraid of.

The Democrats, at least those on the committee, are afraid of voters. They're afraid of the elected representatives of those voters. They're afraid of a judge who will take seriously the fact that the executive and legislative branches are equal to the judiciary.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2006 9:12 AM

Wow! What an insight!

Politicians are found to be responsive to popular preferences. Why before you know it, we shall be hear that they are no longer pushing gun control.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 16, 2006 9:47 AM