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.

Full Story

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.


Ken Kaniff from Connecticut said...

I just noticed this firecracker tossed in my direction. Sorry, Rabid Pomeranian, I have been lax in my internet browsing lately.

As for Alito, while the recent 6-3 decision leads me to believe that Kennedy is going to swing over the way that O'Connor did to preserve a 5-4 split, I am deeply concerned that what is essentially a state rights issue was ignored by the conservatives on the bench in favor of the more obvious "morality" issue.

In the end, while the Supreme Court can overrule a State Supreme Court, a federal executive does not have the authority to nullify a state legislature's decision. the 6-3 decision would be a 5-4 decision next year, and I can only hope that this is not a trend. I would hate to think the only true strict constitutionalists left on the court are Kennedy and Souter.

Still, Alito is a solid choice and while his politics are not that of our blogger and those that currently constitue the minority party, I agree with the mindset that he is the Presiden't choice, and barring gross incompetency (Miers) or truly extremist positions, he should be confirmed.

You didnt see me crying over Bryer and Ginsburg, esp. Ginsburg. President Clinton had the right to nominate these individuals.

PS Right on about Gossage!!
What is the difference between Sutter and Gossage, statistically? Enough to justify the huge difference in votes?
Smells like politics...No wait that was my lunch

listerplus said...

Hola Ken,

You said: Alito is a solid choice and barring gross incompetency (Miers) or truly extremist positions, he should be confirmed.

My question to you is, what constitutes extremist positions in your mind? The man was part of an organization to keep women and minority students out of his prestigious college, he has a dim view of "one man one vote", he failed to recuse himself from hearing a case involving his mutual fund provider after promising he would do just that, and he is just waiting to pull the trigger on Roe v Wade, what more do you need to see? The man is a menace, and it continues to amaze me that you continue to support monsters like this man.

And please, don't forget that President Clinton was forced to run his nominees past Orrin Hatch. Do you see Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy consulting Harry Reid on such matters?

As for Sutter getting in, I agree that he belongs, but you MUST take Gossage as well. He had a longer career and was the dominant closer in the late 70s - early 80s in the AL. So what if he didn't invent a new pitch, a 99 MPH fastball seemes to have worked well for him!