Senator Durbin just finished questioning Samuel Alito, in Day 3 of the hearings, and he referred more than once to "the crushing hand of fate" in Alito's decisions. According to Durbin, Alito has time and time again come down on the side of corporations and other big institutions.
Durbin accused of Alito of seeking out ways to decide cases against the little guy and even tried to connect a decision of Alito's to the recent mining disaster. Alito defended himself in his usual way: I decide cases according to the law. That case relating to mining was about the statutory definition of "mine," and the above-ground pile of coal at issue in the case did not fit the definition.
Durbin just repeated his accusation: There's a pattern, a pattern of decisions, you know, the crushing hand of fate. (Crushing miners underground?) Durbin sounds a litttle dimwitted saying this, but his point is one made by some of the smartest people in the legal academy: I don't care what your excuse is for any given case that you might want to explain. I will just retreat to my observation, based on every case you ever decided, that there is an overall pattern of siding with the big guy.
Alito's last response to Durbin, as the time is running out, is the assertion that there are many cases where he has sided with the little guy -- not enough to alter the pattern, the pattern, you know -- and a description of one case where his decision favored a schoolboy who had been bullied because of his perceived sexual orientation -- doesn't matter because there's still the pattern, the crushing-hand-of-fate pattern -- and I'm not sure if Alito is sounding sympathetic, whiny, or just naturally nasal, and then he clamps his lips shut with his jowls in the pulled-down position that makes me think he's pretty pissed off at Durbin.