Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Now Hear This

Alito is telling the Senate confirmation committee that he will be "impartial" and is assuring Senators on the judiciary committee that "a judge can't have any agenda." Alito means to assuage concerns raised by his previous writings and statements that he thought Roe v. Wade should be repealed and he further tells Senators
A judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case and a judge doesn't have a client. The judge's only obligation and it's a solemn obligation is to the rule of law. And what that means, in every single case, the judge has to do what the law requires.
Now, there's a bold judicial opinion coming from a man who is poised to move to the big bench. It ought to be rather instructive that a Bush nominee to the Supreme Court should feel a need to say something like this, but such is the political climate now. Nominees have to say that, as a judge, they will behave like ... a judge. Comforting.

Of course, the real reason Alito has to say this is because he has very definitely expressed legal opinions about Roe v. Wade that at least the Democrats on the committee probably find troubling.

Back in the mid-eighties, when Alito was humping for a job with the Reagan administration, he opined that Roe v. Wade was something akin to a judicial abomination. That might have sat well with Reagan, as Alito knew, but lately he has claimed that he only said that because he was applying for a job.

Which leads many to see that Alito will say just about anything to get the job he's after and his personal convictions, if he has such things, are really inconsequential to the job he will do for his boss. And considering that his boss on the Supreme Court will be G.W. Bush, we can be fairly certain that Alito will do what is required by the White House.

That is an awful thing to say of a Supreme Court jurist, but really, what other conclusion can one come to when Alito tells us all to ignore what he said before because it was just a job application? Are those words we're hearing now just more of the same?


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