President Bush Nominates Samuel Alito for Supreme Court

This morning President George Bush nominated Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. Judge Alito is known to be a committed conservative. says about Alito:

Liberal observers of the Court immediately pointed to a handful of Judge Alito’s opinions on the Third Circuit as indications of just how conservative they expect him to be. Among those cited, for example, by were these: 1991, supporting abortion restrictions, in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that later went to the Supreme Court and led to the partial reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade; in 1997, in Bray v. Marriott Hotels, seeming to endorse a limited view of minorities’ job rights; in 1991, in Nathanson v. Medical College, appearing to embrace tougher standard for asserting disability rights; in 2000, in Chittister v. Department of Community and Economic Development, finding that Congress had gone too far in passing the Family and Medical Leave Act; in 2004, in Doe v. Groody, embracing broader police search power, including strip searches; and in 2004, Dia v. Ashcroft and Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, taking a hard line against immigrants’ rights.

Alito has a lengthy resume, filled with strong indications that he is qualified professionally. Those who know him personally, and those who have served with him and appeared before the Third Circuit, have said he is an even-tempered individual. Some expect him to attempt to become a consensus-builder on the Supreme Court, and to be less aggressive in advancing his conservative views than Justice Antonin Scalia is known to be.

The President’s announcement stressed Alito’s lengthy career in the law, and 15 years as an appellate judge, which marked a stark contrast with the thin list of similar accomplishments by Harriet E. Miers, the White House Counsel whose nomination to the Court was withdrawn last week after a severe assault by the President’s most conservative followers.

As expected, Democrats, along with liberal organizations promised a hard fight against Alito’s confirmation. Battle lines will be drawn and the fight will be engaged very soon.

For the President’s announcement and Alito’s remarks, go here.

Blogs for Bush indicates that Harry Reid is not happy with the nomination. Reid remarked:

“I am disappointed in this choice for several reasons. First, unlike previous nominations, this one was not the product of consultation with Senate Democrats. Last Friday, Senator Leahy and I wrote to President Bush urging him to work with us to find a consensus nominee. The President has rejected that approach.

Senator Frist has announced

“If the Democrats are looking for a fight, we’ll be up for the fight. We won’t back down… We’re gonna get an up or down vote on the Senate floor and if the Democrats want a fight, they’ll get one.”


9 thoughts on “President Bush Nominates Samuel Alito for Supreme Court

  1. Our Christian prophet’s link gave us a textbook example of a tautology. We’re indebted.The President, on the other hand, has given us a textbook example of what a weakened leader does best: pander to his base.In time, this mild-mannered version of Bork will be revealed for what he is, a right-wing idealogue out of step with mainsteam Americans, 60% of whom agree with Roe.The Right is itching for a fight, and now they’ll get one. Nevermind that it will be as wasteful and cynical derailing of the nation’s business in the same vein as the bogus impeachment of President Bill Clinton.Oh, by the way, the Democrats will win the fight. They’ll filibuster the nomination, and the Republicans will be unable to muster cloture. Then Frist and Co. will attempt the “nuclear option” and that, too, will backfire. Just like Newt’s closing down the government backfired.


  2. Howard,Welcome back.I think there will be a different outcome and that Alito will be confirmed before the end of the year.Too bad you aren’t in LA. I’d bet a dinner at a good restaurant that I’m right.


  3. Hey Gary,I’ll take you up on that bet. I return to LA at least twice a year (I still consider it home; I lived there for 10 years).Here’s why I think I’ll win:President Bush has suffered a number of self-inflicted wounds recently, not least is the major split the Miers nomination caused within the conservative wing of the Republican party. Dems will take advantage of the president’s vulnerability. First, the Right is already calling the president’s judgment into question because of the way the Miers pick was handled. When the president said “Trust me, I know Harriet Miers” the Right didn’t buy.Second, after years of decrying the use of a nominee’s ideology as a measuring stick for confirmation, the president put it squarely back on the table with the Miers choice. When he said that her religion was a primary reason for nominating her, he opened the door to examine future nominees’ ideology. Dems will walk right through and back Alito into a corner because of his extremely conservative views and rulings.Third, the Republicans’ demand that all nominees deserve an up or down vote rang hallow when the Right pummelled Miers into withdrawing BEFORE she ever had that opportunity. The Dems were listening carefully.These factors, I believe, will give Dems license to threaten and even engage in a filibuster. Reps don’t have the votes to stop it.Howard


  4. A nominee’s personal ideology is never a measuring stick for confirmation – whether that ideology is liberal, conservative or whatever. The measuring stick should be whether the candidate has shown through his actions that he can judge fairly based on the law, whatever his personal ideology.For some reason the right to indiscriminately abort fetuses is the single issue with which liberals tend to judge judicial candidates – no other factor seems worthy of attention. Abortion rights (or abortion rites, as someone said today) is not the only issue of concern.Just to throw some wood on the fire here, let me say a few things about Roe v. Wade.1. It was, in fact, bad law. Justice Blackmun found a “right to privacy” in the Constitution that simply isn’t there. It may have been a popular decision ( which is why it was made) but it is not good law.2. Judge Alito has said, and I am sure will say again in the committee hearings that he respects precedent and settled law, just as Chief Justice Roberts has said. That respect for precedence and settled law should give some comfort to liberals who are concerned about having Roe v. Wade overturned.3. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, what will be the result? Back-alley abortions and coat hangers? No. If Roe v. Wade should be overturned, the decisions about abortion will revert to the States. Each state will make its own laws about abortion. What state legislature today do you think will ban abortions, and if they somehow did, just across the border will likely be a state that will permit it. Liberals will not lose their precious right to abort fetuses.And…. you’re on as far as the bet is concerned. If Alito is confirmed before the end of the year, you buy. Otherwise I do.


  5. Gary,“A nominee’s personal ideology is never a measuring stick for confirmation – whether that ideology is liberal, conservative or whatever. The measuring stick should be whether the candidate has shown through his actions that he can judge fairly based on the law, whatever his personal ideology.” Agreed. But I stand by my original comment. President Bush is the one who has made ideology a measuring stick with the Miers pick.You can argue about whether the right to privacy is explicit in the Constitution or not, but that, too, is settled. Even Chief Justice Roberts agreed that the Constitution guarantees it in his confirmation hearing.If you think women will not be hurt by the overtuning of Roe, you’re sadly mistaken. Women of means will have no trouble crossing state lines to have the procedure. But the vast majority of poor and less well-off women will not have that option, or will face serious obstacles, precisely what Justice O’Connor meant when she voted to uphold Roe because of the “undue burden” such restrictions would place on women.I doubt the confirmation will be concluded by year’s end. Is your bet good into 2006? If so, my favorite eatery is the Vermont Restaurant in Los Feliz.But either way, I look forward to meeting you and breaking bread.Howard


  6. Howard,I was trying to give you a break by saying that he will be confirmed before the end of the year. He will definitely be confirmed, so if your bet is that he won’t, it would be like taking candy from a to speak. I am just trying to make the odds a little more even – however, if you want the bet to be that you say he won’t be confirmed, and I say he will, whether this year or next, we can go with that. My bet, right now, is that he will be confirmed in 2005.


  7. Gary,I thought youngsters were the cocky ones.But I’ll accept your parameters. If Alito is confirmed by Dec. 31, 2005, I’ll buy. If not, you buy.Howard


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