Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito bit of questioning

Gee, wasn't that clever?!!

Peter Baker of the Washington Post reports:

President Bush nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court yesterday, rallying his estranged Republican base back to his side and triggering a torrent of liberal attacks that could foreshadow a bruising ideological showdown over the future of the judiciary.

Samuel A. Alito Jr. is a fun name. If you scramble its letters, you get, "A Salem/OJ trial" with a U left over. Shorten it to Samuel Alito and it spells, "I'm a sellout." Telling stuff. But what else should we know about the man Bush has chosen to replace Harriet Miers?

Side note: Apparently, that was my first-ever reference to Harriet Miers on this blog! My bad. Then again, it was Harriet Miers; what was there ever to say about her? That she thought Bush was the most brilliant man she'd ever met? (He taught her that the sky was green.) There. Done. Back to your regularly scheduled blog:

In order to acquaint ourselves with the proposed future justice, who if confirmed will likely be the deciding factor in Jesus v. Roe v. Wade (2006), I have assembled a panel of Dumb Questions to see if our hero stands up to the rigorous Not Right nomination process. Buckle up!

Dumb question 1: Where does Alito stand on the political spectrum, and why the hell would we not see this coming?

Bush selected a long-standing New Jersey judge with an extensive record of conservative rulings on abortion, federalism, discrimination and religion in public spaces. If confirmed to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the swing vote in recent years, Alito seems likely to shift the court to the right. We would not see this coming only if we were blind and were looking the wrong way.

Dumb Question 2: Which far-right joker does Alito remind me of?

Conservative leaders who helped force Miers to pull out Thursday rejoiced at the selection, seeing in Alito the philosophical equivalent of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Oh, right. Almost managed to forget that.

Dumb Question 3: What insanely banal and unintentionally ironic platitude did Bush speak about his latest nominee?

"Judge Alito has gained the respect of his colleagues and attorneys for his brilliance and decency," Bush said in introducing his latest choice. "He's won admirers across the political spectrum. I'm confident that the United States Senate will be impressed by Judge Alito's distinguished record, his measured judicial temperament and his tremendous personal integrity."

Though to be fair, Bush didn't say across what political spectrum.

Dumb Question 4: Have universally respected members of the opposition expressed reservation about Bush's latest choice?

"After insisting that Harriet Miers shouldn't even get a hearing because she couldn't prove she was extreme enough, the far right has now forced the president to choose a nominee that they think has views as extreme as their own," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Reid, who had encouraged Bush to pick Miers, said the Senate would have to investigate whether Alito "is too radical for the American people" and complained of another white male nominee. "President Bush would leave the Supreme Court looking less like America and more like an old boys club," Reid said.

Trick question! Opposition "universally respected" by the GOP? Hell, Ted Kennedy's car has killed more people than my gun!

Dumb Question 5: What qualifications render Alito worthy of a seat as a Supreme Crony?

Alito earned degrees from Princeton and Yale universities and served in President Ronald Reagan's Justice Department and as U.S. attorney in New Jersey. [...] Alito has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit since being nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and has addressed a range of society's most volatile subjects.

Hey, let's be positive about this; at least Alito has a resume as opposed to mere greeting cards.

Dumb Question 6:
What is the textbook definition of "backpedal"?

The same president who touted Miers a month ago as a nominee with real-world experience far removed from "the judicial monastery" yesterday emphasized Alito's lengthy history on the bench, noting that he "has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years." Bush even chose to introduce Alito in the main hall of the White House, rather than in the Oval Office, where he announced Miers's nomination.

If that stance were a bicycle, Bush would have fallen on his ass just like he did off that Segway.

Dumb Question 7: Can this nominee's oxymoronic ideology be summed up in one cutesy Bushie nickname?

The Trenton, N.J.-born son of an Italian immigrant, Alito has drawn comparisons to Scalia, to the point that some have dubbed him "Scalito" -- as if he were the next generation of the Supreme Court's most powerful conservative intellect.

Imagine that: Scalito from Joisey! Visualize broken kneecaps as precedents. Capiche, paisan?

Dumb Question 8: Mr. Alito, would you care to make a very banal, yet unsettling, comment about the role of the Supreme Court?

"Federal judges," he said, "have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system."

Because we all know that the executive branch is more equal than the others.

Dumb Question 9: Is there any light at the end of this very long tunnel?

Alito wrote a ruling upholding a city-sponsored holiday display in Jersey City that included a creche and menorah as well as secular symbols such as Frosty the Snowman. He struck down a Newark Police Department policy forbidding officers to wear beards after two Muslims complained that it violated their religious rights.

Dumb Question 10: Okay, what's the "but"?

Perhaps his most famous opinion came in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey , when in dissent he voted to uphold part of a Pennsylvania law requiring a woman to notify her husband before obtaining an abortion. [...]

He argued that Congress did not have the power to ban the intrastate sale of machine guns. In a variety of other cases, he showed skepticism of court intervention in discrimination claims. [...]

Since Alito has expressed opinions on "every hot-button issue" in American society, Sekulow added, "you've got to prepare for a slugfest."

There are more "buts" than a Sir Mix-A-Lot video.

Dumb Question 11: Does Alito have sufficient qualifications to be a true business criminal?

Alito, along with two other judges, threw out a lawsuit against Vanguard Group while having invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Vanguard mutual funds. Alito rejected an accusation of conflict of interest, but the case was reheard by another panel.

Lame for the Bush administration, but it's a start.

Dumb Question 12: What piece of stupid, yet apt, advice did Bush pass on to Alito's children?

"Don't pay attention to what you hear about your dad," the aide quoted Bush as saying. "The process can be tough."

Bush giving advice to children! Can we add "negligent father" to the Alito record?

Dumb Question 13: How violently anti-abortion is this guy?

"Alito's confirmation could shift the court in a direction that threatens to eviscerate the core protections for women's freedom guaranteed by Roe v. Wade or overturn the landmark decision altogether," said NARAL President Nancy Keenan.

In other words, ridiculously so.

Now it's your turn, Congress. Do us all proud.


PusBoy said...

"He's won admirers across the political spectrum.

Yep, from neoNazis to Branch Davidians, Alito covers the entire spectrum of the far right.

The Goblin Slayer said...

Why are liberals so against states' rights?

Roe v. Wade - States cannot make abortion illegal.

PusBoy said...

Okay, gs, I'll see your troll and raise you a bitch-slap:

"The Marriage Protection Amendment" - States cannot recognize same sex marriage.

The Goblin Slayer said...

That wouldn't be a bitch slap, pusboy. You see, unlike you, I can disagree with a political party's view points. In other words, I am in the same opinion as you. The States should decide about gay marriage.