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IT'S SAMUEL ALITO

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 31, 2005 06:17 AM

***scroll for updates…1030am EDT appearance with GOP Sens…1110am Schumer exploits Rosa Parks…gross…video at The Political Teen***

Via Breitbart/AP, we have a nominee: Samuel A. Alito, Jr. White House will make official announcement at 8am EDT.

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Details from USNews:

Nicknamed “Scalito” for views resembling those of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito Jr. is a favorite son of the political right. Appointed in 1990 by George H.W. Bush to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito has earned a reputation for intellectual rigor and polite but frequent dissent in a court that has been historically liberal. His mettle, as well as a personable demeanor and ties to former Republican administrations, has long had observers buzzing about his potential rise to the high court. “Sam Alito is in my mind the strongest candidate on the list,” says Pepperdine law Prof. Douglas Kmiec. “I know them all . . . but I think Sam is a standout because he’s a judge’s judge. He approaches cases with impartiality and open-mindedness.”

A New Jersey native, the 55-year-old Alito received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and graduated from Yale Law School. He worked in the solicitor general’s office during the Reagan administration and was a U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey when George H.W. Bush nominated him to the Third Circuit. His 15 years on the bench have been marked by strong conservatism on a case-by-case basis that avoids sweeping opinions on constitutionality.

In 1997, Alito authored the majority opinion upholding a city’s right to stage a holiday display that included a Nativity scene and a menorah because the city also included secular symbols and a banner emphasizing the importance of diversity. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito was the sole dissenter on the Third Circuit, which struck a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to consult their husbands. He argued that many of the potential reasons for an abortion, such as “economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands’ previously expressed opposition . . . may be obviated by discussion prior to abortion.” The case went on to the Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court’s decision 6 to 3.

Experienced. Well-thought-of by conservative constitutional scholars. Not a diversity/crony pick. Young. This is a nominee the Right can get behind.

More bio/background from Wikipedia (for what it’s worth).

Harry Reid was not happy with a possible Alito nomination yesterday:

“This is not one of the names I’ve suggested to the president,” Reid said yesterday of Alito on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

“In fact, I’ve done the opposite,” he said. “I think it would create a lot of problems.”

This is a good sign.

Tom Goldstein at SCOTUS Blog wrote on Friday:

Of these candidates Judge Alito seems most likely to me, and he is my prediction. Judge Alito would energize the President’s conservative supporters. But he would not be as much of a fight as the others. Luttig and Owen, in particular, raise the serious prospect of a filibuster and it seems unlikely in the current environment that the Administration is anxious to have that fight. It seems to me that the pressure to nominate a woman is considerably lessened now, and the focus is on getting someone confirmed. Judge Alito will be grudgingly confirmable to many Democrats once they look at his record.

Patterico analyzes Alito’s dissent in Casey, which is likely to cause Democrat moaning. Kathryn Lopez has more.

Will the Gang of 14 get behind him?

Confirm Them notes a NYTimes story reporting that that the GOP will fight obstructionists:

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, fired back Sunday, saying that if the Democrats staged a filibuster against Judge Alito or Judge Luttig because of their conservatism, “the filibuster will not stand.”

Feddie at Confirm Them: What’s at stake?

Polipundit says Alito has the votes: “Confirmation is almost certainly assured.”

The Confirm Alito Coalition
is up.

Scott Ott at Scrappleface has the morning spoof…Schumer: Judge Alito ‘Hopelessly Overqualified.’

Ankle Biting Pundits: Ballsy move. Top-notch.

The loony Left reacts. Just loony. It’s like watching monkeys in a zoo, sez The Good and the Right. They’re right.

Ed Morrissey:

Alito, at 55, has the possibility of providing 20-30 years of jurisprudence on the Supreme Court, meaning that he and John Roberts have a real opportunity to turn the court back from its decades-long flirtation with supplanting the Legislature and turning itself into a strange American version of the Iranian Guardian Council. In this nomination, Bush may have hit the home run we wanted with the first nomination. Democrats may well try obstructionism, but they stand to lose the filibuster if they try — and if John Paul Stevens steps down or dies during the next two years, the path will open up for Janice Rogers Brown to take his place.

CNN: Alito’s hefty legal resume.

From President Bush’s announcement this morning:

“Judge Alito is one of the most accomplished and respected judges in America. He’s got a mastery of the law and a deep commitment to justice.”

Kathryn Lopez posts Sen. John Cornyn’s reax.

Mark Levin:

Sam Alito has spent his entire professional career defending the Constitution. The president and Alito deserve our strong support. It is clear the media this morning are urging Democrats to fight this nomination, not that they need that much encouragement. We are already hearing the usual superficial analyses about how Judge Alito will vote on specific issues, and so forth. We must be prepared to explain and defend our judicial philosophy, and contrast it with the left’s lawlessness.

I have known Judge Alito for two decades. We served together in the Meese Justice Department, where he worked in the Solicitor General’s Office and was considered the sharpest of Charles Fried’s assistants. He is every bit as smart and personable as Chief Justice John Roberts. He is an expert on constitutional law. And he obviously has a longer judicial record, so his judicial philosophy is well-known. Judge Alito is soft-spoken. He is his own man (efforts in the media this morning to paint him as “Scalia-lite” or “Scalito” are intended to fire-up the leftwing base). If he is not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, then no conservative is qualified.

ABP urges readers to put pressure on the Gang of 14 Republicans.

White House website has Bush’s full statement and Alito’s remarks:

ALITO: The Supreme Court is an institution that I have long held in reverence. During my 29 years as a public servant, I’ve had the opportunity to view the Supreme Court from a variety of perspectives — as an attorney in the Solicitor General’s Office, arguing and briefing cases before the Supreme Court, as a federal prosecutor, and most recently for the last 15 years as a judge of the Court of Appeals. During all of that time, my appreciation of the vital role that the Supreme Court plays in our constitutional system has greatly deepened.

I argued my first case before the Supreme Court in 1982, and I still vividly recall that day. I remember the sense of awe that I felt when I stepped up to the lectern. And I also remember the relief that I felt when Justice O’Connor — sensing, I think, that I was a rookie — made sure that the first question that I was asked was a kind one. I was grateful to her on that happy occasion, and I am particularly honored to be nominated for her seat.

My most recent visit to the Supreme Court building was on a very different and a very sad occasion: It was on the occasion of the funeral of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. And as I approached the Supreme Court building with a group of other federal judges, I was struck by the same sense of awe that I had felt back in 1982, not because of the imposing and beautiful building in which the Supreme Court is housed, but because of what the building, and, more importantly, the institutions stand for — our dedication as a free and open society to liberty and opportunity, and, as it says above the entrance to the Supreme Court, “equal justice under law.”

Every time that I have entered the courtroom during the past 15 years, I have been mindful of the solemn responsibility that goes with service as a federal judge. Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system. And I pledge that if confirmed I will do everything within my power to fulfill that responsibility.

Jim Hoft has video of the White House announcement.


Power Line
: “We’re about to get the fight over Constitutional principles that conservatives have looked forward to for years.”

Sen. Bill Frist on Fox News (via Jason Smith): “If the Democrats are looking for a fight, we’ll be up for the fight. We won’t back down… We’re gonna get an up or down vote on the Senate floor and if the Democrats want a fight, they’ll get one.”

Jim Geraghy at TKS:

I think that at this moment, many, many conservatives, confident that the American people want judges to be judges, and not legislators, are stretching, flexing their muscles, and pounding the chest, whispering menacingly, “Bring. It. On.”

Another vote for “Bring It On” at Red State.

Xrlq on conservative reax: Reunited and it feels so good.

Tom Bevan at Real Clear Politics reports that the PFAW left-wingers are ready to rumble.

David Frum: Perfect pick.

Mark Coffey has the Top Ten Kos Kidz Reactions to the Alito Nomination. Emily Zanotti’s parody isn’t far off the mark.

Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice has questions and observations.

1030amEDT Specter: He brings to this nomination a very distinguished record…we have a very good idea as to his approach to jurisprudence…heavy burden of paperwork…(Background on Alito/Specter at Patterico.) Ted Stevens echoes “a lot of paperwork” line…

Q&A.

Q: What do you make of the immediate negative reaction from Dems.

Specter: Well, this is Washington DC.

Edward Whelan takes a closer look at Alito’s vote in a 1995 case involving Medicaid funding of abortion. Glenn Reynolds on abortion and spousal notification.

1110amEDT Schumer…Will Alito use his seat like Rosa Parks did to change history for the better?…raises real questions about his commitment to civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights…blah blah blah…America needs unity now…the president seems to want to hunker down..soothing the ruffled feathers of the extreme right wing of his party…[Alito] would make the court less diverse…whines about need to fill the seat with someone in the mold of Sandra Day O’Connor…Judge Alito does not appear to be another Sandra Day O’Connor…

[Indeed.]

More Schumer on timing: When there is a controversial nominee for a pivotal swing vote on the high court, the procedure should not be…rushed…this is a nominee who could shift the balance of the court…for decades to come…we need to review his 15 years of judicial opinions…it will take time to assemble those documents…and review them…a lot to fit in between now and Christmas…no one should seek to delay for the sake of delay…but no one should seek to rush these hearings through simply to make a point, distract from issues of the day or avoid thorough review of this nominee…

Jason Smith writes: “How shamless of Chuck Schumer to have converted Rosa Parks’ casket into a soapbox to stand upon and give a partisan-hack speech about Alito.”

Ditto that.

Hugh Hewitt: Schumer hits bottom.

Ken Masugi
spots a liberal who worked for and respected Alito’s intellect, but can’t bring himself to support the nomination.

Right Side Redux has a statement of support from another of Alito’s colleagues.

Underneath Their Robes is chock full of interesting Alito tidbits and links.

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