Monday, January 09, 2006
Alito Senate Confirmation Hearings Begin.
Senate confirmation hearings began today for Judge Samuel Alito, Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy's latest pick to replace retiring justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Yahoo News AP Wire excerpt:
WASHINGTON - Judge Samuel Alito absorbed hours of criticism from Senate Democrats at close quarters Monday, then pledged at his confirmation hearings to do what the law requires "in every single case" if approved for the Supreme Court.
"A judge can't have any agenda, a judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case, and a judge certainly doesn't have a client," said Alito, the 55-year-old appeals judge who is President Bush's choice to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor for the swing seat on a divided high court.
Alito spoke after several Democrats on the Judiciary Committee made clear they intended to question him with unusual aggressiveness across the next few days about abortion, presidential powers in an age of terrorism, his personal credibility and more.
"In an era when the White House is abusing power, is excusing and authorizing torture and is spying on American citizens, I find Judge Alito's support for an all-powerful executive branch to be genuinely troubling," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
"You give the impression of being a meticulous legal navigator, but, in the end, you always seem to chart a rightward course," added Chuck Schumer of New York.
Fat Ted got it right, Chuck only got it about half-right. Instead of that idiotic "rightward course" bullshit, he should have shown everyone where Alito has clearly lied about his record. The man claims to stand for upholding legal precedent, but we have already seen his "judicial activism" manifest itself in his rulings and opinions that strip searching ten-year-old girls is just fine, that revising the particulars of search warrants on the fly is a swell idea, that one-man one-vote is just a "quaint" notion, that regulation of environmental polluters is wrong, that executive power trumps that of the legislative branch of our government, and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Chuck, stop bringing knives to gunfights!
Republicans, with a majority on the committee and the Senate, offered Alito shelter. "As of right now, there's no question that he's going to have my vote," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
And Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina warned Democrats against setting a precedent of filibustering Alito's nomination on the basis of abortion rights. If that became the standard, there are many senators who believe so deeply that "an abortion is certain death for an unborn child that they would stand on their feet forever," he said.
That these men will unquestioningly support Alito is no surprise, but what is a surprise is Senator Graham's statement that flies in the face of what his fellow Republicans have been trying to sell the public, namely that Alito is not a fierce anti-abortion activist judge.
Ken Kaniff, Connecticut's Most Wanted Gangsta, is a supporter of this nomination. I, as you can probably guess, oppose it. What amazes me about Ken's stance is that he and I share similar views about personal privacy. It all comes down to what type of country in which we want to live--one where the ideals of freedom aren't simply empty platitudes, or whether we mean what we say and say what we mean. If Alito is confirmed, the former scenario will prevail and we can look forward to a climate in which whatever the numbskull in the White House says is law. Since the petty little tyrant already has more power than any previous president, thanks in part to the unwillingness of the Democrats to stand up to him, it is a frightening prospect to imagine what kind of shit he will pull should he get his way with this nomination.