Samuel Alito: "A Penance Well Served"

Sometimes you can test the merit of a political candidate by the ranting of the opposition — in this case, note the reaction of MoveOn.Org:

. . . This morning, with his administration growing weaker by the day, President Bush caved to pressure from the radical fringe of the Republican Party and nominated Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. Alito is a notoriously right-wing judge on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He has consistently ruled to strip basic protections from workers, women, minorities and the disabled in favor of unchecked power for corporations and special interests. . . .

With one stroke, President Bush reunites his conservative base and has liberal pundits frothing at the mouth. Here’s a roundup of further reaction from both sides of the political spectrum:

  • It’s Samuel Alito! – As expected, Michelle Malkin provides a good roundup of blogwide reaction to the nomination.
  • Stephen Dillard sings for joy (literally) at the nomination of Alito.
  • The Democrats are already circulating some Atolito talking points that Chris Matthews — in a rare moment of journalistic honesty — calls “a pretty disgusting document”.
  • Notice anything different about THIS nomination? – Matthew Heidt (Froggy Ruminations compiles the reactions of the Dems, adding:

    Slick move of the day goes to the President for having nominated a candidate from the home state and judicial circuit of Judicial Committee Chairman Specter. This puts the squishy pro-abortion Republican in the position of having to consider the ramifications of punching out a fellow Pennsylvanian while attempting to reconcile that conflict with his fawning NARAL buddies. Touche’, Mr. President!

    (Barenucklepolitics.com also charts the demonizing of Alito by liberal bloggers).

  • Ed Brayton (In the Agora) has some good advice:

    I’m sure more will come out on Alito over the next couple weeks. I make the same caution I made with Roberts, which is that you should not believe anything an interest group on either side says about his rulings or writings without looking it up for yourself. Court rulings often involve very narrow technical grounds which are easy to distort and make it sound as though the judge just wantonly came out against good and for evil.

  • On a similar note, from Powerline:

    Judge Sam Alito has served on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals for 15 years, so he has an extensive record as an appellate judge. This distinguishes him not only from Harriet Miers, but also from John Roberts, whose brief tenure on the Court of Appeals produced only a handful of opinions. Over the coming weeks, Alito’s many published opinions will be fodder for endless speculation as to how he might rule on various issues as a Supreme Court justice. So I thought it might be helpful for our non-lawyer readers to say a few words about the context in which discussion of Alito’s judicial record will take place. . . .

  • Pejman Yousefzadeh @ RedState.Org calls President Bush’s choice The Anti-Miers:

    Judge Samuel Alito is everything that Harriet Miers is not. He brings extensive judicial experience–the most of any Supreme Court nominee in nearly 70 years–to the table. He has a clearly developed sense and theory of jurisprudence and Constitutional interpretation. Both Alito and Miers are intelligent but Alito is steeped in the work and skill sets that a Supreme Court Justice needs to bring to his/her work. He is an outstanding nominee and conservatives who were dismayed and outraged over the Miers nomination are and should be delighted over the Alito nomination in equal proportion.

    Of course, it is clear that a fight will be waged over this nomination. This fight should be welcomed . . .

    And describes the sometimes painful cost of Originalism, Strict Constructionism And Intellectual Honesty, as typified in one of Alito’s decisions.

  • A Catholic Majority on the Supreme Court? — questions of history and assimilation at David Bernstein’s The Volokh Conspiracy. Likewise Mark Brumley @ Ignatius Insight on the implications of “5 out of 9”.
  • No longer calling for Bush’s head, Mark Shea is sated, and The Weekly Standard, conveying the sentiments of thousands, says “That’s More Like It!”
  • Go In Peace Mr. President, Your Sin Has Been Forgiven – Greg Mockeridge at Cooperatores Veritatis applauds the President’s humility before correction. A good penance, indeed.
  • Finally, to close on a note of amusement, Stephen Dillard @ Southern Appeal explains “Top ten changes a Catholic Majority would make to the Supreme Court”.
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