Judge Alito & Stupid Liberal Arguments 101
I have been quite pleased as well to see the knee-jerk liberal responses to this nomination. If the People for the Communist, err, American Way, Planned "we get almost 1/2 our revenue from killing babies" Parenthood, NOW, and the Alliance for Justice all oppose a nomination within the first hours of its announcement, it must be a good one!
Something must be said, however, in response to the extrememly poor arguments that have been offered by liberals thus far. So, let's do a little due diligence here and rationally evaluate the liberal and MSM poo-poo on Alito.
Once again, abortion continues to be the big issue everyone wants to talk about. Much is being made of Alito's opinion in 1991 that said Pennsylvania could pass a law requiring wives to notify their husbands before obtaining an abortion. The question, of course, is whether this was a good judicial opinion, not whether it was good policy. Judge Alito's careful and cautious dissent on this point (which was merely 1 vote away from being accepted by the high court) can be found here. I would have a hard time seeing anyone describe Alito as a pro-life nutcase in reading this opinion. It is well reasoned, carefully argued, and probably correctly decided. Moreover, Alito has also been on the other side of the issue. In 2000, Alito said that New Jersey could not ban late-term abortions without a health exception in the law. Thus, even though the health exception is rather stupid and a product of good old Justice O'Connor, Alito did the correct thing. He followed precedent as he is required to do as a Court of Appeals Judge and struck down the law. Thus, while much is made of his 1991 dissent, it is presented as a policy position, not the careful and fair judicial opinion it was.
Okay, now for the really stupid arguments.
Senator John Kerry: "Every American should be deeply concerned that the far right wing, which prevented Harriet Miers from even receiving a Senate hearing, is celebrating Judge Alito's nomination and urging the Senate to rubber stamp the swing vote on our rights and liberties."
Okay Senator Kerry. First of all, Democrats didn't like Harriet Miers either. Your Democratic Leader Harry Reid recommender her to Bush and then refused to endorse her. Democrats were as unimpressed as Republicans, so don't try to portray Ms. Miers as the victim of the "far right wing." Second, what makes you think it was the "far right wing" that opposed the Miers nomination? It was conservative intellectuals, and particularly conservative lawyers that derailed the nomination. Many of these were libertarians and others not very impressed with Bush on many issues, but who care about the Constitution and are jurisprudential conservatives. But I suppose "far right wing" is one of those talking points you like to throw out there a lot since you don't actually have any arguments to offer. Third, who asked you to rubber stamp Alito? We're just asking for a vote. If you don't like him, and I'm sure you won't, don't vote for him. I don't care.
You should also notice that Senator Kerry accuses conservatives of denying Miers a hearing. This is from that new liberal talking point. For a greater exposition of this, we turn to the unbiased reporting of the New York Times. In an attempt to unquestionably repeat liberal propoganda and disguise it as journalism, the Times "reports": "Conservatives' willingness to scuttle Ms. Miers's nomination without so much as a hearing cast doubt on their longstanding insistence that all judicial nominees should be entitled to an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor without the threat of a filibuster, and some Democratic nose-counters suggested that a filibuster to block Judge Alito was very much on the table."
What a crock! No one was calling for a filibuster of Miers. How does arguing that a nominee is not qualified and thus should withdraw equate to hypocrisy that all nominees should have a vote without threat of filibuster? If she hadn't withdrawn, many of us would have urged our Senators to vote against her, not filibuster her. She was not denied a hearing at all. She had her day in the limelight and was not up to the task. I'm sorry, but that argument is just plain stupid.
Next up, Chuck Schumer: "Now, it's sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor who would unify us."
Ohhh, I forgot that unification of America was one of Chuck Schumer's major goals. He has indeed worked hard to bring Americans of all political stripes together. On a separate note Chuck, isn't the job of a Supreme Court Justice to interpret the laws of the United States and our Constitution, not serve as some political unifying force?
More from Schumer: "But the initial review of Judge Alito's record shows that there's a real chance that he will, like Justice Scalia, choose to make law rather than interpret law and move the court in a direction quite different than it has gone."
Looks like liberals have coopted conservative arguments about judicial activism. It's funny, however, when people who have a litmus test on Roe v. Wade, which has nothing to do with the Constitution, get upset with making rather than interpreting law. It's tough to take this real seriously. Notice the implicit but frequently mentioned Democratic talking point that we need to keep the balance on the Court. But why? Were Democrats really that upset in 1993 when Bill Clinton nominated avowed liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg to replace judicial conservative Byron White, thus shifting the Court to the left? Of course not. This "balance argument" seems completely disingenuous. Bush campaigned in part on nominating judges like Scalia and Thomas. He won the election. Memo to liberals-you lost, get over it.
Finally, for the many Braveheart fans out there. Check this out from Bench Memos:
Hamish/Conservatives: Where are you going?
William Wallace/George W. Bush: I'm going to pick a fight.
Hamish/Conservatives: Well, we didn't get dressed up for nothing.