Monday, January 9, 2006

Judge Alito Confirmation Hearings Start Today

As the proceedings take place, keep up with The Washington Post's Campaign For The Court blog. It will keep you informed of the major events taking place with the hearings.

Here is an excerpt from one of the posts over the weekend:

"Senate Democrats on Sunday promised a drawn-out confirmation and perhaps a filibuster for Samuel Alito if the Supreme Court nominee evades or refuses to answer their questions on abortion, presidential war powers and other issues..."

Also, I was reading from On Governmental Authority by Martin Luther from 1523. I find his advice fairly sufficient for our current discussions on the judiciary and the upcoming hearings:

"Besides, we cannot conceive how an authority could or should act in a situation except where it can see, know, judge, condemn, change, and modify. What would I think of a judge who should blindly decide cases which he neither hears nor sees?"

This is exactly what South Carolina's own Senator Lindsay Graham addresses in The Post's blog:

No, not at all. But let’s talk about the abortion question for a moment. When President Clinton chose twice -- he had two picks on his watch -- he chose Ginsberg and Breyer, people left of center. Justice Ginsberg openly embraced the idea that there was a constitutional right to an abortion.

I don’t agree with that, but Republicans who were pro-life and, I guess, a few Democrats who were pro-life, did not hold that position against her. They believed that she would decide the cases based on the facts and the law.

So we’re not going to sit back and watch a double standard to be imposed here. People who have come from Democratic nominees have openly embraced the idea that they believe there’s a constitutional right to abortion. They were not disqualified.

If Judge Alito advocated that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, that is no -- that’s not a disqualifying event. An extraordinary circumstance could never be having a different philosophy. You expect Republicans to pick people differently than Democrats.

What I think an extraordinary circumstance would be -- someone’s character, integrity problems, or clearly they’re an ideologue, they don’t care what the law is, they’ve got their own agenda. There is no evidence of that in this case.

And the fact that he may disagree with somebody on a particular issue like abortion -- well, that happens all the time. That happens when Clinton picked Ginsberg and Breyer. She was the ACLU executive general counsel. I disagree with her about everything she basically advocated. But I can understand why she was given 96 votes.

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