AT THIS moment in American history, it would be hard to find a worse Supreme Court nominee than Samuel A. Alito Jr. His ideology captures everything extremist about the Bush administration. If confirmed, Alito would serve as Bush's enabler. He would give Bush effective control of all three branches of government and the hard-right long-term dominance of the high court. His confirmation or rejection will depend on the gumption of the Senate Democratic leadership and independence of a few Republicans.
Oddly, while Alito favors an almost monarchic executive, he believes the federal government has limited powers to protect the health and safety of Americans or safeguard the environment. Alito and and his compatriots in the Federalist Society are critical of the Supreme Court's holding since 1937 that Congress, under the Constitution's commerce clause, may regulate to assure everything from a safe and healthy workplace to honest financial markets. According to University of Chicago professor Cass Sunstein and the watchdog group People for the American Way, Alito has written the largest number of dissents of any judge sitting on the conservative Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and over 90 percent of his dissents were more conservative than those of his colleagues.
With the Bush administration running roughshod over individual rights, Alito has tended to support prosecutors and corporations over individual citizens and employees, in cases involving civil liberties, civil rights, workplace rights, and reproductive freedom. In 1985, he wrote that he thought the Constitution ''does not protect the right to an abortion," flatly contradicting Roe v. Wade. And with corruption scandals festering in Washington, Alito conveniently forgot his pledge to recuse himself from cases in which he had a personal financial interest.
Yet, in their weakened condition, it's not clear that Republicans could muster the votes to go nuclear. Moderate Senate Republicans may just welcome a chance to distance themselves from Bush's extremism -- if Democrats lead. Alito epitomizes everything dangerous about George W. Bush (my em). Unlike Bush, he would not be gone in three years. With some leadership and profiles in courage, we may yet be spared an extremist high court.
"Leadership and profiles in courage". Yeah, if Hell had ice water...
Note to Dems: If you're ever gonna grow some sack, now's the time. In fairness, there's a few - Reid, Boxer, Pelosi, Kennedy, Dean et alia - but not nearly enough. A lot of 'em remind me of a guy who won't hit back when he's punched for fear of angering his opponent. I got news for ya - the way you deal with a bully, in this case the entire Republican mob, is to smack him as hard as you can and keep doing it until he's no longer a threat, just like in the schoolyard of yore. You're already gettin' your ass whipped - what have you got to lose? Everybody thinks you're a buncha pussies anyway, show 'em different.
Who knows, maybe you'll kick their ass a little and like the feeling. We got other problems you could deal with, you know, like saving this country from a buncha criminals.