The liberal blogosphere, my peers and mentors, my sources of information and my sources of entertainment, are proving embarrassing in their reflexive attempts to excoriate the nomination of the Honorable Samuel Alito to replace Justice O'Connor on the United States Supreme Court.
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So hasty are they to imagine that a nominee perceived as adequate to mollify the far right in fact should be a mollifying nominee to the right that they are missing clear signals to the contrary. Their fears may prove justified. And in a more abstact sense, I share those fears. Nothing that follows should be read to suggest otherwise.
Anticipating what a judge will do vested with lifetime tenure and an end of all direct beholdenness to others, having attained the pinnacle of his profession, has proven an entrely dubious enterprise. I don't pretend to know how Judge Alito would rule on any pet issue of mine. And anyone who does might as well be reading tea leaves for all the guarantee the traditional extrapolative endeavors furnish. But it's simply reckless and discrediting to willfully, or ignorantly, misconstrue his rulings in an effort to reinforce one's worst assumptions about the motives and effects of the nomination.
(internal links omitted). Read it. It's worth at least a skim, and probably a bit more for the legally trained. A major reason the right, left and center went batshit over Miers was the lack of any evidence of her potential judicial competence or philosophy. Alito has been a judge for over a decade, there's a lot of there there. That would seem to be a good place to start, rather then skipping straight to spin and other secondary materials.
Yes, he's 'conservative'. You casts your votes and you counts the results, and the guy dancing in the middle of the ring with the belt whne the bell rings picks the judges. But, as Prof. Althouse has pointed out about 40 or 50 times this week, there are many different flavors of conservative jurists. The 'movement conservative' vs. 'process conservative' taxonomy has some traction with me. A fair reading of Alito's record strongly indicates the latter.
While I might not neccesarily agree that that is the 'best' mode of judicial interpretation, A) who the hell am I to say? (well, probably better qualified then most of the people doing the confirming actually, but that's mostly a function of being fresh from the ivory tower, where we learn such nuggets as 'process matters'. In the Real World, it's grill 'em and bill 'em, baby...) B) As I say to anybody who bitches about the refs after their team is knocked out, "Win your
Update: Or maybe read what attorneys who have actually apeared in front of him have to say.
Mediawatch update: My former ethics professor (who is decidedly left of center) opines about NPR and WaPo