31 October 2005

A Halloween Nightmare

It was before five a.m., thanks to a time change the caused little children to rise earlier than normal. Fog enshrouded the neighborhood. And, National Public Radio brought me a Halloween Nightmare, courtesy of George W. Bush.

Samuel "Scalito" Alito, Jr., a hard core conservative, most famous for holding that the constitution presented no bar to a Pennsylvania law that required wives to inform their husband's of their intent to seek an abortion (a decision later overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote in the Casey decision, which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade) is Bush's nominee.

If he is approved, liberals will regret being lukewarm about Harriet Miers, the U.S. Supreme Court candidate whose withdrawal had led to the Alito nomination.

Of course, Democrats in the Senate could filibuster him, but I'm not hopeful. With men like Ken Salazar representing Colorado, our chances look weak. Democrats have been spineless on nominations in the past, and they will likely be this time. Democrats need to recognize, as Armando at the Daily Kos does in his sig line, that the Supreme Court is extraordinary. Fundamentally, this is right. As a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, Alito is subject to the binding precedent of a higher court. On the U.S. Supreme Court, the only thing that matters is the ability of Alito to find four more votes for his personal views. Scalia, Thomas and Roberts will be more than happy to oblige in most instances, and Kennedy won't be much of a hard sell.

This is not a time to carefully wait and deliberate. This is a time for bold action to oppose this nomination now. I sincerely hope that this nightmare will end. But, I fear that it won't, for decades.

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