[Verbatim statement/Oct. 31, 2005] WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi issued the following statement upon President Bush's nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:
"President Bush has hit a home run. Judge Alito is a highly qualified nominee. His credentials are superior. In terms of judicial philosophy, he has a well-documented understanding of the limited constitutional role of the courts, and he has argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court. Judge Alito is no stranger to the Senate, having twice been unanimously confirmed by this body, first to become U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and most recently to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. While a new confirmation process now must proceed, I enthusiastically look forward to supporting Judge Alito's nomination."
Time Magazine has an overview piece on the Alito nomination. (Lefty bloggers are calling him "Scalito" is reference to his similarity to Justice Scalia.)
The nomination will be seen as a sop to conservatives, but they are thrilled to take it. A memo being circulated among conservatives asserts that Alito "has more federal judicial experience than 105 of the 109 Supreme Court Justices appointed in U.S. history." Progress for America, a self-described independent group that works closely with the White House, planned to have an ad for him on the air within seven hours. At the other end of the spectrum, the liberal People for the American Way said his judicial philosophy "is far to the right." Sen. Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, had a straight face as he called Alito "controversial," and said he has real questions about the judge's record on civil rights, women's rights AND workers' rights. "It's sad that [Bush] felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America," Schumer said. "The President seems to want to hunker down in his bunker." Alito is an ardent conservative who will be hard to caricature, but will provide plenty of fodder for an ideological showdown. As a sign of the potential battle ahead, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said he wants to ask Alito about abortion.
Meanwhile, the Village Voice makes it unanimous...this one will be a fight.
President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court this morning is a transparentóand embarrassingómove to promote a left-right fight over a court appointment as a device to shift attention from the debacle set off by Scooter Libby's indictment Friday.
Both sides, Democrat and Republican, are urging Bush to stand up and apologize for his aides' behavior and pledge to make a fresh start. This would be hard to do without dumping his leading adviser, Karl Rove, who remains in serious legal jeopardy. Instead, Bush is making a wild gambit that he can re-energize his right-wing base with a Supreme Court fight and push ahead with his conservative "mandate."
- Todd Stauffer
Judge "Scalito" really scares me, in particular that he would be replacing O'Conner. That sad, i know this inappropriate and not the right forum, JSU is firing Coach James Bell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John Fahy, A Democrat And Former Bergen County Prosecutor: “Look, he is conservative. But you could disagree with him and he would listen to you. ... He’s also the brightest man I know.” (Amy Klein, “Alito Respects Precedent: Now He May Have To Set It,” The [Bergen County, NJ] Record, 11/1/05)
- Kendrick Johnson