January 31, 2006

Alito is confirmed.

The Court's new era begins. Goodbye to Sandra Day O'Connor. I have long been a great admirer of hers. This is the first moment in history when the number of women on the Court has declined, unfortunately. But Samuel Alito and John Roberts are brilliant newcomers, and they should serve us well.

22 comments:

Goesh said...

With 15 years on the bench already, I like to think he will fullfill his duties in a proper and impartial way. He is in his prime and should give the nation many good years of service. The same can be said of Judge Roberts. I'm glad the hearings are over and Kennedy's red-faced righteousness did not impress me in the least. His huffing and bellowing has done nothing to strengthen the DNC.

bearbee said...

New Jerseyites hold center stage with the newly appointed Justice Alito and now the debate over Ben Bernanke to replace Greenspasm.....

mrbungle2103 said...

It's going to be verbally tricky for young Kossacks to refer to "BusHitler" getting "Bulshito" on the bench.

Gerry said...

Thank you, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, for your service. May you enjoy the Arizona sunsets for years to come, with the company of your husband.

And congratulations to Justice Samuel A. Alito, who weathered a whole lot of crap he should never have had to. I am confident that Justice Alito will be making me proud of my support for him for years to come.

Eugene said...

Perhaps Democrats should start to worry that a "strict constructionist" is a once center-right federal judge who's been mugged by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

37921 said...

What do the Kostras have to say about it? I'd go look but I hate that place.

Goesh said...

I browsed one Liberal site and one of the respondents, after first listing Bush/Alito as just another crime against humanity, started listing other crimes and moral outrages, one of which was Bush exposing our troops to bird flu in Iraq. From Alito to dead chickens, they sure can reach and stretch.

Matt Roth-Cline said...

Ann, I'm a bit surprised to hear you say that you've been a longtime admirer of SDC. It seems like you have some mixed feelings about SDC's case-by-case approach to law. Is your admiration on a personal level?

in_the_middle said...

perhaps centrist-minded americans should worry that the 'centrist' john roberts just voted with scalia and thomas (the poster boys for 'federalism when it suits our views') to ban oregon's assisted suicide law.

strict constructionism? ha.

Uncle Buck said...

As usual, Ann's positive post is a reason for commenters to launch into attacks against Democrats...you know, the party that does NOT control all three branches of government, but which is somehow still the cause of all problems in this country?

This comments section is a lot more like DKos than you might think.

Steven Taylor said...

Uncle Buck,

In scanning these comments, I must admit that I hardly see any attempt to blame the Democrats for the ills of the country. Indeed, I most of the comments in this list aren't even aimed at the Democrats.

Take the above, and especially the lack of vitriol, and it is rather difficult to compare this place to Kos' place.

brylin said...

But what's with Feinstein? Didn't she say that she would oppose Alito but he deserved a vote?

Then she votes against cloture!

Why isn't she a hypocrite?

Lola said...

Though some liberals may say this was a close vote; I think it just shows the inability of so many Senators to ignore liberal partisan groups. As mentioned, the hypocrisy was almost unbearable (as in Senator Feinstein's comment mentioned above).
Still, Justice Alito deserves this nomination based on his credentials, qualifications, experience, integrity and education... The Supreme Court is now heading in the right direction with two bright, young Justices. Congrats Justice Alito!

ziemer said...

in the middle,

i realize that it may be too much to ask that you might read supreme court opinions before you express what you consider thought about them.

but if you read thomas' opinion, it is quite clear that he considers the feds' actions unconstitutional. however, that was not the issue; he explains that his vote is only dictated by the result in the raich case, in which he dissented.

Ann Althouse said...

Matt: I like her centrist position, but wish she would commit to clearer doctrine. I think some of her work on federalism, especially in her first decade on the Court, is especially good.

RogerA said...

I will leave it to those who are more learned in the law than I am--but I would like to assume that anyone who is placed on the supreme court: (1) understands his or her oath and (2) looks at cases as the come before the court without preconceived notions. Perhaps I am a pollyanna on this; but for the most part I believe that people who go into government service really dont do it to forward a personal agenda; and jurists who are willing to face the increasing tumult that is a confirmation process dont engage in that cauldron to forward their personal agendas.

I personally dont like some of the supreme court decisions; but I have never felt the jurists who reach those decisions do so to forward a personal agenda.

So thank you Justice O'Conner for your service, and welcome Justice Alito in anticipation of your service. The best to you both.

Gahrie said...

In The Middle:

Chief Justice Roberts and Jutices Thomas and Scalia were reying on a concept called Stare Decisis. The facts of the Oregon case were legally identical to the Raich case. Even though two of the three disagreed with the outcome of the Raich case, they felt the Court had a duty to be consistent with it, or explicitly overrule it.

downtownlad said...

Chief Justice Roberts and Jutices Thomas and Scalia were reying on a concept called Stare Decisis. The facts of the Oregon case were legally identical to the Raich case. Even though two of the three disagreed with the outcome of the Raich case, they felt the Court had a duty to be consistent with it, or explicitly overrule it.

What a joke. They won't stick to stare decisis when it comes to abortion. Let's face it - is there one case where Scalia or Thomas have gone against Catholic doctrine? I can't think of one. Roberts will be the same.

Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts voted against assisted suicide, despite their belief in federalism, because they are afraid of going to hell.

I expect Alito to be independent minded though, and not check with the Pope first on how to decide.

Craig Ranapia said...

Well put, Professor Althouse. As someone who isn't a law scholar, I'd just say someone who could infuriate both the loony left and the rabid right with such metronomic regularlity had to have been doing something right. :)

anonlawstudent said...

I'm beginning to realise that one of the biggest flaws with general discussions about what the courts have done or not done in a given case is that we blame them for the consequences of their rulings, rather than to examine the content of the holding. Thus, if the court allows something to stand because procedurally it has no power of review, we still blame the court for allowing such-and-such to continue.

That being said, Justice Thomas has declared that he doesn't believe in stare decisis, and thus for him to feel bound by a court ruling that he himself dissented from, and to bemoan the fact in writing, is prima facie absurd. The few things I've read by JT (a concurring opinion in United States v. Lopez, and a dissent in US term Limits v. Thornton) have been well crafted reasoning; so I'm skeptical that the above uncited opinion is as simple as all that.

ziemer said...

downtownlad,

read the decision!
then comment, please.

thomas' dissent could not possibly be clearer that, in his opinion, the federal government has no power to override oregon's assisted suicide law.

however,the ultraleft wing of the court ruled in that case on the side of unlimited federal power.

the federalism issue was thus resolved in raich. there was nothing to decide in oregon except an issue of statutory authority.

ziemer said...

oops. "that case" in the middle setnence should read "raich."