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Wednesday, January 11, 2006 

Alito Hearings, Left and Right Weigh In

Contrasting Views on Alito Hearings

"Armondo" at Daily Kos points out a duel between Mr. Schumer and Judge Alito:

-In reference to Schumer pointing out former Reagan nominee Judge Bork’s editorials on Roe v/s Wade, and his attacks on its constitutional legitimacy, followed by Judge Alito’s comment of

I think he was one of the most outstanding nominees of this century. He's a man of unequaled ability [and] understanding of constitutional history.”
-The two (Schumer and Alito) had this dialogue:

JUDGE ALITO: Well, I certainly was not aware of what he had said about stare decisis when I made those comments. I have explained those comments. They were made when I was a -- an appointee of President Reagan, and Judge Bork was --

SEN. SCHUMER: But you weren't -- excuse me. You weren't working in the White House. You were a U.S. attorney prosecuting cases. There was no obligation for you to say what you said, right?

JUDGE ALITO: No, but I had been in the Department of Justice at the time about --

SEN. SCHUMER: You know, but it was a voluntary interview with some New Jersey news outlet. Is that correct?

JUDGE ALITO: And I was asked the question about Judge Bork, and I had been in the department at the time of the nominee -- at the time of his nomination, and I was an appointee of President Reagan, and I was a supporter of the nomination.

Say Anything Sammy is saying 'Hey, I needed to kiss up to the boss. What do you want from me?'In other words, the question for Say Anything Sammy is "were you lying then or are you lying now?"

From Live Journal.com “squarestpeq” writes on a different duel between the two:

There's general agreement that Kennedy, Biden, Feingold and Feinstein have embarrassed themselves and done nothing to make Alito look anything other than knowledgeable, patient, articulate and fully worthy of being a Supreme. But a few have suggested that Chuckie scored some points. I disagree, and this succinct comment makes clear that Schumer's schtick was just as ineffective--and self defeating--as the others.

One thing Schumer said actually made NPR's audio excerpt list and its worth listening to just to understand how confused he is

Judge Alito, in case after case, you give the impression of applying careful legal reasoning, but too many times you happen to reach the most conservative result. Judge Alito, you give the impression of being a meticulous legal navigator but in the end, you always seem to chart a rightward course . Some wrongly suggest we're being results-oriented when we question the results you have reached, but the opposite is true. We're trying to make sure that you're capable of being fair, no matter what the identity of the party before you. Sometimes you give the government a free pass, but refuse to give the plaintiffs a fair shake.

Schumer's problem with Alito appears to be that his process just isn't producing the predetermined results that the left demands, after all, everybody should take turns being right.

The entire exchange reminded me of the current series of NBA commercials with Ali G.. The Ali G schtick is fabulous, relying on political correctness to prevent his targets from pointing out that his questions betray colossal ignorance and stupidity. Schumer G. relies on much the same paradigm, knowing that as a Senator and a liberal icon, everything he says is brilliant no matter how transparently foolish.

I’ll weigh in with my opinion later, but both arguments have to do with the legitimacy and usefulness of these proceedings. Are they really achieving what was intended when the idea was drawn up in our nations laws and proceedings? Is Judge Alito being questioned for his ability and suitability for the Supreme Court Seat, or is he being grilled about political ideology? Is Judge Alito answering anything from which the committee can actually gauge his worthiness for the highest court in the nation? Dancing around every question that concerns every type of controversial case just leaves everything with a big cloud of grey smoke.