November 1, 2005

Quit saying Scalito, read the cases, and appreciate the benefits of a nominee with a long judicial record.

Here's my New York Times op-ed about the new Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

IN THE COMMENTS: Mr. Bungle says: "Sadly this is the news media age when phrases like 'Bennifer' and 'Brangelina' are deployed at every given opportunity. Frankly I'm surprised that 'Bulshito' hasn't been run up the flagpole already." Oh, it shouldn't take long...

34 comments:

Gerry said...

Well done, Ann.

Do you support confirmation of Samuel Alito, based on what you know so far? It seems that is your view, but I haven't seen you explicitly say so.

Ann Althouse said...

So far I do. I want to see what comes out and read more cases, but my basic approach is to respect the President's appointment power. This presumption is strong with my when he's picked a person with stellar credentials.

Michael said...

Do you think it likely that there will be an attempt to Bork him? It would appear that there is already a campaign afoot to exaggerate the conservativness of his record or to highlight specific decisions that might frighten folks into opposition. To some abortion rights supporters (the NRA of the left) any limitation on the right to abortion is opposition to Roe v. Wade.

Dave said...

Well put.

I don't see much similarity between Alito & Bork or Alito & Scalia other than one could put them all to the right of the middle. But there is a vast territory to the right of the middle.

The people who must determine whether Alito is appointed to the Court are not too bright.

nypundit said...

Now this is an OpEd worthy of being behind TimesSelect! (and I mean that in a good way)

mrbungle2103 said...

Sadly this is the news media age when phrases like "Bennifer" and "Brangelina" are deployed at every given opportunity. Frankly I'm surprised that "Bulshito" hasn't been run up the flagpole already.

Goesh said...

"Bulshito" is coming - Ruth looks rather puny and ailing if you ask me.......

Mark Daniels said...

Ann:
I particularly appreciated your comments about the reactions of some Senate Democrats and their implications for nominees to the Court by future Democratic presidents.

Republicans and Democrats alike should bag ideological litmus tests for confirmation to the Court.

Elections are about something. The entire country elects presidents with the implicit understanding that they will nominate judges who broadly share their judicial philosophies.

It seems to me then, that the only circumstances under which the Senate can fairly vote against judicial nominees are when there are legal or ethical questions about the nominee or when she or he has espoused some intrinsically evil views. (Things like racism or the defense of totalitarianism would come to mind in this latter category.)

I railed against the unfairness with which I felt that some conservatives treated Harriet Miers. I feel equally disgusted with the words of Senators Reid, Schumer, and Boxer regarding Mr. Alito.

The only litmus test the Senate should have for judges is if they possess the background credentialing necessary to serve on the Court.

Mark Daniels

Steven Taylor said...

Ann,

Many congratulations on getting a piece in the Times and avoiding having it behind The Wall.

And, better yet, the piece was on point.

Good work.

Steven

Pogo said...

An excellent piece, Ann. I wonder if the left will take the high road on this one and forego their standard approach of drama and high dudgeon.

Everything seems to signal The End Of Days with them of late. It's like arguing with street preachers or teenagers denied the right to stay out after midnight. They've become 6th graders with fingers in their ears yelling "la la la la la can't.hear.you la la la."

Don't they ever get bored with the doomsday rhetoric and read an article like yours and think, "yeah, I suppose she's right; we need to win the next election" ? I mean, are there any grownups on the left?

brylin said...

Ann,

Well written op-ed piece!

Bruce Hayden said...

Excellent job. I was hoping you would put it up here for us to comment upon.

Undercover Christian said...

Maybe he'll come off tough, and they'll call him Toshito (Toshiro + Alito) or Ramito (Rambo + Alito).

Gr8 starter/retirement home said...

I read you article in th NYT today & googled you to leave this message.
Your article maintains that we should view Alito's record before rendering judgment, but you give only 2 examples & they are don't give much insight into his philosophy. Am I supposed to Google Alito's decisions? Since Law is your bag, it seems you could have enlightened your readers instead of making a conclusion based on little to nothing.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann,

Slightly OT, but do you think that you would have made it into the NYT w/o this blog? Presumably, there are a lot of Con Law profs who do a good job, but this seems to have set you away/above the crowd.

I think though it also helps that you do seem to be, at least to me, one of the more moderate politically of that class.

Mark said...

Ann,

I am curious, based on your judicial philosophy and on what came out during his hearings, would you have supported (or did you support) Robert Bork nomination? Was his record as a law professor and DC Circuit Court Judge stellar or extreme or in between? Thanks.

Ann Althouse said...

Mark: At the time, I was one of the lawprofs who signed the letter against him.

Simon Kenton said...

Were it now, would you sign the anti-Bork letter again?

Bruce Hayden said...

I am reasonably conservative, but in retrospect, I think that I would have opposed Robert Bork due to his arrogance. I think humility is much better at this level of power.

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: I'd have to think it through. I think his attitude toward established rights was destructive.

Troy said...

Isn't Bulshito the samurai code?

Undercover Christian said...

Isn't Bulshito the samurai code?

Close. Bushido.

stealthlawprof said...

Ann --

Very good column. One additional point about the stupid "Scalito" tag -- as I understand this, it is a play on Italian designed to mean "a little Scalia" or "Scalia-lite". From what I have seen, there is nothing little or light about Samuel Alito.

vnjagvet said...

Ann:

I very much enjoyed reading your well-balanced and incisive opinion on the Alito nomination.

From reading a number of observations from the nominee's self-described liberal law clerks and college and law school classmates, it sounds to me like he is an unlikely candidate for demonization.

Reading the opinions cited by his opponents leaves the same impression. Much ado about very well written and reasoned opinions.

Writing opinions with reasoning approved by the likes of Brennan and Thurgood Marshall does not sound excessively partisan for a conservative.

Adam Shpeen said...

I thought all of Ann's points were good until the very end. I was shocked by Ann's assertions. You can find my response here:

The Agenda Gap

jinnmabe said...

I wonder how many people will buy the "EXTREMIST!!" rhetoric. I've already read a few of his opinions and I just can't see how Dean, Reid, Schumer, or the like will convince people who've done the research that this guy is crazy enough to keep off the court. I guess that's the question, isn't it? How many will do the research? And will any of them be United States Senators?

reader_iam said...

Ann, I actually overheard a couple of people discussing your article this morning (it's how I knew about it ... didn't get the chance to check newspapers or blogs first thing this norning).

Waaaayyyyy cooolllllll.

Matt said...

Well, Ann's now been bashed at Kos. While I disagree with her on this (and many other issues), I think most of the bashing is wrongheaded, though perhaps it would have been more effective in demonstrating the contrast between Blackmun and Burger to pick a case other than Roe (where Blackmun and Burger both voted with the majority).

Troy said...

I knew that. I was trying to avoid using an emoticon to convey that Bulshito merely sounds like Bushido with a wink or a smiley, etc.... Comment humor is so touch and go.

Great op-ed btw Ann. The opposition scans the top SCOTUS nominees and prepares news releases to slam each one and then whips it out when the name comes down.

Undercover Christian said...

I knew that.... Comment humor is so touch and go.

So true. Sorry for missing it, Troy.

Uncle Buck said...

Pogo,

Yeah, I suppose Ann's right; we on the left need to win the next election. There - I said it!

Seriously, I AM on the left, but I also believe that Alito really cannot be opposed simply due to his ideology. The ideology is decided during presidential elections. There are no "extraordinary circumstances" here to warrant a filibuster, and the Dems should allow a straight up-or-down vote.

By re-electing Bush, Americans basically decided that they would like to outlaw safe and legal abortions in our country. (After that, say goodbye to contraception...Dobson's people don't cotton to that, either!)

Ann Althouse said...

Gr8: My main point is that the record deserves study. You're right that I haven't gone through everything and only had one real example in the limited space I had. Watch the blog. I'll have more later.

Meade said...

You'd think the New York Freakin' Times could have found a better doodler to do the graphic.
Good text though. Congrats.

peter hoh said...

Pogo asked: I wonder if the left will take the high road on this one and forego their standard approach of drama and high dudgeon.

I don't think the media will give space or time to Democrats who take the high road. The media has been itching to cover a fight, and they will not be denied.