Monday, January 09, 2006

Alito Confirmation Hearings Begin has the story here.

Federal appeals judge Samuel Alito goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday for what promises to be a bruising hearing on U.S. President George W. Bush's nomination of him to the Supreme Court.

Barring an unforeseen bombshell, the 55-year-old conservative was expected to be confirmed by the full Republican-led Senate later this month, and possibly move the nation's highest court to the right on social issues.

"This hearing will give Judge Alito a full opportunity to address the issues of concern," committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement prepared for delivery at the scheduled start of the hearing at noon EST (1700 GMT).

A member of the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1990, Alito earlier served as a U.S. prosecutor and an attorney in the Reagan administration.

During coming days, Alito will face a host of tough questions, including probing on his views about presidential war powers and his personal opposition to abortion.

"The challenge for Judge Alito ... is to demonstrate that he will protect the rights and liberties of all Americans and serve as an effective check on government overreaching," Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the panel's top Democrat, said in his prepared opening statement.

If confirmed, Alito would replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate conservative who often has been the swing vote on the nine-member court on abortion and other social issues.
The Reasonable mouth-foamers for Absolute Individualism and Nanny Statism had launched an all-out war to derail Judge Alito's nomination. All for naught. Their mouth-peaces in Washington, such as esteemed Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, will continue rearguard manuevers that avail them nothing. Even now, the senator attempts to reframe Judge Alito's nomination to suit the self-destructive agenda of sputtering Democrats.

A Supreme Court Justice's duty is not to be "an effective check on government overreaching." A Justice's duty is to interprete the law in the light of the constitution's actual meaning. If that interpretation means that SCOTUS renders laws passed by congress or executive orders issued by POTUS unconstitutional, so be it. That does not make a Supreme Court Justice a sword of Democles that hangs over every President's neck.

I would be interested to see exactly how heated the Democrats' rhetoric would be if they held the executive branch. Somehow, I get the feeling the temperature would be much lower. Call it a gut feeling.