Mr. Alito, the analytical, circumspect son of an analytical, circumspect father, who rose to become a federal appeals court judge and is now President Bush's nominee to become the next justice of the Supreme Court, is remembered from those days in the Office of Legal Counsel for his superior research powers, his probing brain, his wrestling with the questions and his disinclination to see any issue as a slam dunk.There's much, much more in that vein. The photos are awfully sympathetic too:
It remains to be seen what kind of justice Judge Alito might turn out to be, if he gets the chance: whether, for instance, he is the upper-case conservative that the right may hope for and many on the left fear. An examination of several chapters in his life suggests he is conservative by temperament, upbringing and experience - conditions that appear to have shaped his approach to life and his work more than any narrow ideological niche....
Throughout his life - at Yale Law School, as a government lawyer, as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals - Judge Alito has earned respect, even friendship, across the political spectrum. Some who describe themselves as liberals say they admire what they call Judge Alito's meticulousness and fair-mindedness - traits he appears to have come by early in life.
Perhaps the NYT has gotten the message that mainstream liberals are going to look bad opposing this man.