October 31, 2005
Born on April Fools Day. Nominated to the Supreme Court on Halloween. Son of an Italian immigrant. Graduate of Princeton and Yale Law. Catholic (giving the court a majority in that respect). Personable enough to have a gourmet coffee named after him in downtown Newark, N.J.
Samuel A. Alito Jr., 55, who sits on the Philadelphia-based federal appeals court, was named this morning by President Bush to replace Sandra Day O'Connor as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and erase convervative memory of his failed try at elevating White House counsel Harriet Miers for the job.
Conservative reaction this morning? Right on!
The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
Alito, Alito, Alito, Alito . . .
That was Confirm Them, (subtitled God Save The United States and This Honorable Court) reaction, beginning its post about the New Jersey federal court judge with this play on Maria from West Side Story. A law-geek buddy had just composed it. Confirm Them continues:
Seriously though, I really am excited. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come from just a few weeks ago. All seems right with the world again. Yes, there will be a fight. But I don’t believe for one second that the dems have any chance of defeating this nominee, and deep down I think they know it.
And, the reaction on other side of the aisle? "A right wing whacko," as one Democratic member of Congress whispered him to NPR's Cokie Roberts.
Too radical? Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid was quoted as asking. A divider not a uniter, New York Sen. Charles Schumer worried.
So who is he? Scotus blog has a round up of Alito's key decisions.
Howard Bashman, the Fort Washington, Pa., lawyer/blogger at How Appealing, has written about Alito for years. He has compiled a scorecard for how the judge's decisions have fared when appealed to the high court.
There will be lots of talk about his position on abortion. Glenn Reynolds, a constitutional law prof at Tennessee who blogs at Instapundit, gets the ball rolling. He writes:
As several people point out, that's going to be an issue with regard to Alito. I'm not sure what I think about this issue, but looking at the Pennsylvania statute I notice a lot of exceptions, one of which is this: "Her spouse is not the father of the child."
I'm not sure about Pennsylvania, but in many states her spouse -- even if he's not the father of the child -- would still be on the hook for child support. Likewise, if he didn't want children, but she disagreed, lied to him about birth control, and got pregnant. And he certainly couldn't force her to have an abortion if she did so, even if his desire not to have children was powerful, and explicitly expressed at the outset. (The usual response -- "he made his choice when he had sex without a condom" -- never comes up in discussions of women and abortion.)
Oh yeah, and Alito has his own blog. Sort of. It begins this morning:
I feel like I'm up at the podium at the Oscars. I have so many people to thank.
Actually, not really, I only have one person to thank.
The games have begun.
From veteran Supreme Court reporer Lyle Dennison in Scotus Blog: "One of the liberal groups that has long spoiled for a fight with Bush over a Supreme Court nomination, People for the American Way, promised a "massive national effort to defeat Alito's nomination" because he "would dramatically shift the balance on the Court."
Conservative organizations, intent on having an identifiably conservative replacement for O'Connor, will be mounting an equally strong national effort, to support Alito's confirmation. The American Center for Law and Justice, for example, praised the President for fulfilling a promise "of choosing nominees to the Supreme Court who are in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas."
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Game number 2: How many ways can the Philadelphia Inquirer find to invoke its fear of Catholics - without actually using that word? How about - we need to know more about - "Alito the man?" or maybe his "attitude towards abortion?" or maybe the bolder "does he take orders from the Pope?"
Posted by: John Paul | Oct 31, 2005 9:19:40 AM
Yeah, that's the secret mission in noting this. It's an accomplishment, JP
Posted by: Daniel Rubin | Oct 31, 2005 9:26:03 AM
thanks *blush* -
I suppose you could have commented on the most over-represented religion on the supreme court rather than the majority religion. But you wouldn't want to do that now would you? Your editor at the Inquirer wouldn't like it.
Posted by: John Paul | Oct 31, 2005 10:31:01 AM
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