Alito Confirmed, What Do We Think?

Samuel Alito has just been confirmed by the Senate as the 110th Supreme Court justice in the nation’s history. A last-ditch effort by Senate Democrats to filibuster his nomination failed miserably. But where does that leave us?

Alito’s record is mixed-he supports gun rights, which is good news to us, but he also supports wiretaps. He’s confusing on abortion, where he’s personally against it but tends to rule in its favor, which is murky whatever side of the line you’re on.

I suppose he’s better than Harriet Miers, but I can’t figure out what else to think about the guy.

  1. Basically, he and Roberts will support all the Patriot Act provisions for this “time of war”.

    Therefore, they both are awful.

  2. I actually think he sounds like a nice guy and a thoughtful judge. Yes, he’s deferential to the legislature and the executive, but that’s generally the posture judges should take, barring a Constitutional violation. I think Alito is likely to strike down Patriot Act provisions as unconstitutional, and more likely to do so than Roberts.

    On balance, Alito should make a good Justice. There are no perfect ones, so it’s non-informative to point out the one or two issues where Alito is imperfect.

    Yours truly,

    …withholding judgment…

  3. I’m with Nick – withholding judgment.

    It’s pretty hard to tell how he’ll rule as a Supreme Court Justice as opposed to an Appeals Court Judge who is required to uphold the rulings of the Supreme Court. Most of his record appears to rule on the law, not try to set precident (as opposed to what most of the attacks on him would lead you to believe).

    I think there’s a chance he could be really bad for Constitutional right. There’s also a chance he could be really good for them.

    I think the most likely outcome though is he’ll be somewhere right down the middle – pissing us off sometimes and tickling us to death others.

  4. I can’t say I feel too good about him, either. Primarily because I think he will be far too deferential to the executive, at least the current executive. Will he be far enough looking to see that such deference might be “harmful” if the Pres wasn’t such a stand-up guy? (Well, at least in Alito’s eyes, as my opinion of W is far less than sterling.) Somehow I just don’t think he’ll see it that way. Call me cynical, but I just don’t feel very good about this appointment al all.

  5. The scary thing about Alito is how little attention most people paid to his nomination. Maybe it was Supreme Court nominee fatigue, after Roberts and Miers…

    On the final day of hearings, when no one was paying attention and the hearing room was nearly empty, a UCLA law professor examined Alito’s record in close cases (not the easy ones) where government power vs. individual liberties were at stake. Alito sided with the government every time.

    The scariest moment for me was when Alito was being asked whether the President was above the law, and could wiretap without warrants, or detain suspects without charges, and Alito was non-committal, stating it would depend on the specifics of the case. If there are specifics where the Bill of Rights can be ignored at the leisure of the President, there is no Bill of Rights.

  6. This man means nothing to me. I didn’t even get to vote against him.

    Whatever he says, or does… he can eat me. Living free or dying… still… alone.

  7. I have about given up on the Supreme Court doing a damn thing to protect liberty. I can’t imagine Bush nominating anyone who won’t uphold the neo-con anthem that the emperor may do as he pleases.
    Our best shot, albeit it a long one, is to force the legislative branch to reduce federal authority so we needn’t beg these robed agents of the state for our rights.

  8. One: The reason the lib’rls aren’t happy… Alito won’t be deferential to a Democrat-fueled executive or legislature. Which means, should the Hildabeast win in ’08, he won’t be in her back pocket.

    B: When is Alito going to start “rolling back” civil rights? I want to be ready. You know… snacks, beverages, comfy chair to watch the show.

    III: Tedward K. promised that Alito will give kids asthma. I fully expect this to happen immediately, but can he really pull it off?