Alito picked up the support of Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who was re-elected in 2002 by 524 votes, and Robert Byrd of West Virginia. . .Compared to the "reasons? I don't need no stinking reasons!" left, Byrd deserves an honorary Federalist Society library card.1
"I refuse simply to toe the party line when it comes to Supreme Court justices," Byrd said in a floor speech. "I hail from a conservative state. And, like a majority of my constituents, I prefer conservative judges."
- John F. Kerry (D-MA):
We are being asked to confirm a nominee who will shift the ideological balance of the Court dramatically to the right. We are being asked to confirm a nominee whose views will undermine the balance of power that I believe keeps our country strong. . .In an email, now posted on his homepage, Kerry pushed for a filibuster to prevent what he called "an ideological coup" by a "far-right ideologue like Samuel Alito."
Given how high the stakes are, our decision cannot be based on whether Judge Alito is a smart man; whether he is a nice man; whether he is an accomplished man; or even whether he is well-respected in legal circles.
That makes Kerry a "far-left" ideologue according to the liberal Washington Post: "However one reasonably defines the 'mainstream' of contemporary jurisprudence, Judge Alito's work lies within it."
- Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO):
Judge Alito would reverse our progress on the laws that promote diversity in our country. Justice O’Connor was the deciding vote in the Grutter case, the 2003 decision that affirmed that diversity is a compelling state interest justifying an admissions process that builds a diverse student body. Justice Alito is very unlikely to agree with Justice O’Connor on this issue, imperiling a decision I believe to be vitally important to the future of our country.As Wendy Long on Bench Memos says:
you have unwittingly admitted it: a judge or Justice is an "abomination" to you if he or she is someone you "disagree with." Like your fellows on the far Left, to you the Courts are just political machines. If they don't bend to your liberal will ... well, they're an abomination!
Great....keep running on this theme. You and other liberals who insist on politicizing the courts and the confirmation process can run yourselves right into the ground. Your opponents will continue to explain the enduring value of faithfulness to the Constitution and an independent judiciary.
- Patty Murray (D-WA):
When the President nominated Judge Alito, the right wing cheered, confident that he will vote their way. That reaction gives me pause as to whether this nominee can keep an open mind on the issues that come before him. If the right wing is so confident he will vote their way, how can we be confident that he will put the country's needs first?Murray's "enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" logic is infantile, and proves Patty missed the point: we veterans of the rebel alliance battled Miers despite White House assurances about outcome.
- Richard Durbin (D-IL) according to CBS News Chicago:
After meeting one-on-one with Alito and then questioning him in committee hearings, Durbin acknowledged that Alito is a legal scholar with a genuinely judicial temperament. . .This from the guy who likened Guantanamo to the Gulag, in part because "extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before."
Durbin said he will oppose the nomination of the federal appeals court judge when it comes for a vote next week because Alito has failed to show he would protect privacy rights. . .
He also criticized Alito for being guarded at his confirmation hearings, noting that the New Jersey native would not even clearly say whether he is a Bruce Springsteen fan.
- A typically biased NY Times editorial:
Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of government — and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.I'm with John Hawkins at Right Wing News:
It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public's attention to the import of this nomination. . .
A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
Here's a reality check for the liberals at the New York Times and their counterparts in the blogosphere.
Whether you like it or not, Presidents get to select judges and even liberals should be willing to admit that George openly promised in 2000 and 2004 to appoint judges exactly like Samuel Alito.
- DU inmate in_cog_ni_to :
It IS worth crying about! [Alito] will overturn Roe v. Wade, he will give unitary executive power to the idiot-in-chief to make LAWS on his own...forget Congress, who needs Congress? He will rule against the little people in favor of the big corporations. He will give the idiot the power to SPY on us without a warrant! He will rule on the Plame case, more than likely. He will rule on the Abu Ghraib pictures/torture issue....IN FAVOR OF THE ADMINISTRATION! he constantly ruled against the disabled and minorities. He's a woman hater and a BIGOT.Ah the irony: a Roe v. Wade supporter alarmed about a "Federal Government [that] rule[s] our lives."
This man is a DANGER to our CONSTITUTION! He's a Federalist and wants the Federal Government to rule our lives. Is that what you really want? He MUST NOT BE CONFIRMED! If I were you, I'd start crying!
With 60 or more Senators -- California Yankee counts 55 so far -- it'll be Associate Justice Alito by noon Tuesday. A big win, despite conventional wisdom: this time, a Byrd in the hand is bested by a Byrd backing Bush.
1 Not principle, of course, but politics: "Byrd's announcement came just days after West Virginia businessman John Raese announced plans to challenge the veteran senator in the November election."
(via Bench Memos)