Posted by lex, on January 11, 2006
(he said, and she nodded knowingly)
Can’t watch the SCOTUS hearings on account of the fact that I don’t have a TV at work, do I? So I’m pretty much forced to follow the show on the SCOTUS blog and occasionally over at the National Review online. The NRO folks are cheering Judge Alito on of course, which is to be expected I suppose, but the SCOTUS bloggers seem to be fairly even-handed about the whole thing.
Knowing that facial expressions and voice inflections are important (but grateful that I don’t have to suffer through any Teddy close-ups) it appears to me like the Judge is doing a heck of a job and that those who’d seek to tar him as a racist, or out of touch or all too ready to shred the only part of the Constitution that really matters (hint: It isn’t actually in there, which can confuse laymen like your humble scribe, starts with an “A” and isn’t to do acts of war, excepting maybe you’re talking about the culture war, in which case, OK, maybe you’ve got a point). I should think that some of the Senators should be grateful for the whole NSA kerfuffle, which came up just in time to give them something else to talk about in the form of Unlimited, Unchecked and Imperial Presidential Powers, not to mention Naked Ambition and lawlessness tantamount to FASCISM!
There’s also the rather unsavory connotations that go along with membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, an organization to which Alito once belonged and had some rather unfortunate people within it. Not like it was the KKK or anything, but, you know: Ech. There’s also something to do with the Vanguard fund and recusal that doesn’t seem to have any legs, but which fact does not, in and of it self, prevent some of the paragons of virtue elected representatives from a-flogging of it anyway. The candidate’s judicial philosophy seems to fall well within the conservative norm, reading the text of the Constitution as it’s actually written (gasp!) and consulting both original intent, insofar as that can be determined and precedent, if it applies, which is something your correspondent, solemnly sworn as he is to support and defend the selfsame document finds deeply satisfactory as is the fact that the Judge’s increasingly empurpled adversaries don’t seem to be laying a glove on him.
Which I think is nice, being that he strikes me as a kid from the neighborhood who did well, as opposed to Chief Justice Roberts, with whom Alito is often compared to disadvantage, and who, it seems to me now, must have been created in some cloning pond somewhere (probably not South Korea) for the specific purpose of one day being the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
No, it seems once again that the one thing really revealed in this process is not so much the foibles of the man under review as the limitations (not to say vituperativeness, disingenuousness and heartlessness, but if you said it I wouldn’t disagree with you) of those who would seek to crucify him. Which is not unlike a novel experiment proving that water is wet: However interesting and entertaining it might be to watch, you cannot really say you learned something new at the end of it.
Which thought brings me back to how grateful I am that Judge Alito is the man facing the harsh glare of the lights, and not some other candidate perhaps.
There. Because you knew deep inside you that you wanted it.