Monday, October 31, 2005

"Quiet Conservative" Picked for Top Court

In just under an hour, President Bush will nominate 3rd Circuit Appeals Court Judge Samuel Alito to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Conner on the US Supreme Court. (CNN: Officials: Bush to nominate Alito to high court). Alito's pick quickly follows the withdrawal of Harriet Miers' name from that same position.

In selecting Alito, the President has picked a candidate that will have overwhelming support from his conservative base - something he did not have with Miers and what ultimately scuttled her nomination. He has also selected a judge with a lengthy history of public decisions, and someone that has extensive experience on the bench. From the standpoint of qualifications, Judge Alito certainly passes muster.

The confirmation of Alito is no slam dunk, however, and the President is in for an extremely difficult fight in the Senate. Many describe Alito as being "Scalia-like", something that will not sit well with the left. Like Scalia, Alito is a very conservative judge and would also be described as a constructionist. Attorneys that know Alito claim that, were they on the same court, he and Scalia would typically vote the same way. In some circles, he has earned the nickname "Scalito", in reference to the similarities between the two.

This nomination raises the spectre of a filibuster, although that could be politically damaging to the Democrats when it involves a Supreme Court pick. Of course, with O'Connor's decision to remain on the bench until a replacement is found, there's no rush to fill the vacancy, and the Democrats may only need to hold out until the 2006 elections to force the selection of their choice.

For the record, I fully support the nomination of Samuel Alito. He is precisely the type judge I want to see on the Supreme Court. He is a conservative, a constructionist, has extensive judicial background, and has a lengthy and consistent judicial record. Whether or not the President has enough political clout left to see Alito confirmed remains to be seen. In the end, that is what will decide Alito's fate, not his qualifications.


1 comment :

A Christian Prophet said...

Notice how "divisive" this nomination is supposed to be. The argument apparently doesn't wash. See The Christian Prophet blog: