***scroll for updates***
Townhall.com has an “Alito Central” clearinghouse with tons o’ links.
The Oregonian’s David Reinhard highlights two progressive lawyers who clerked for Alito and support him.
10am EST. Via AP:
President Bush sent Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito off to his confirmation hearings Monday with praise, a good-luck handshake and a demand that senators “give this man a fair vote.”
Alito, who would be the 110th justice in U.S. history, was facing close questioning by the Judiciary Committee on abortion and other contentious issues. But first, he got some last-minute encouragement from the president over breakfast at the White House.
Speaking to reporters afterward in the Rose Garden, the president called Alito “eminently qualified” and said, “Sam’s got the intellect necessary to bring a lot of class to that court.
12noon EST. Specter’s prepared opening remarks here.
Ed Whelan, Bench Memos:
[The hearings] begin with a whimper—a stultifying three hours of opening statements by Committee members (10 minutes for each of the 18 senators). Professions of openmindedness aside, it is a long shot that any Democrat on the Committee will vote for Alito’s nomination. Their opening statements will signal how vitriolic they intend to be as well as the lines of attack each will explore in questioning Alito.
At 3:45 or so, Alito will be introduced by two politicians from his home state of New Jersey, Senator Frank Lautenberg and former governor Christine Todd Whitman. Lautenberg, a liberal Democrat, voted against Roberts and will almost surely vote against Alito, so his remarks will not extend beyond the necessary courtesies. Whitman, a liberal Republican and President Bush’s former EPA head, should help neutralize the left-wing environmentalist rhetoric against Alito.
Finally, around 4:00, Judge Alito will be sworn in and will offer his opening statement. After more than two months of etiquette-demanded silence—or, worse, Democratic senators’ accounts of what Alito supposedly told them—this will be Alito’s first real opportunity since the announcement of his nomination to present himself to the American people.
1220pm EST. Pat Leahy deifies Sandra Day O’Connor. “Will you be an independent judge?” (That is, will you ignore the Constitution and assuage the penumbra-expanders on the Left?) “I have not decided now I will vote on this nomination…The stakes for the American people could not be higher…The appointment…must be made in the people’s interests…”
1235pm EST. Sen. Hatch: Judge Alito, you are a good man. Hope the hearing will reflect more light than heat…
Sen. Kennedy: I was particularly impressed by your personal family story…We must determine whether a nominee has a dedicated commitment to basic values…More Justice O’Connor deification…Question: Is [Alito] committed to the core values of our Constitution…[Alito's] record troubles me deeply…I find Judge Alito’s support for an all-powerful executive branch to be deeply troubling…invoking NSA program…brazen infringement on civil liberties of American people…the President vows to continue spying on American citizens…voice rising…independent judges must assess the proper balance between [civil liberties and national security]…troubled by alito’s support for vast unchecked authority…he has excused abuse of privacy…supported level of overreaching presidential power…It is extraordinary that each of the 3 individuals this prez has nominated for the court…have defended the most expansive view of presidential authority…Supreme Court…must not serve as a cheerleader for an imperial presidency…
…average Americans have had a hard time getting a fair shake in [Alito's] courtroom…Judge Alioto (sic) does not support people of color…slips in bogus Princeton controversy…1245pm EST…invokes the Vanguard attack……
WaPo has Kennedy’s prepared statement here.
Jonah Goldberg: “Teddy Kennedy will need a shower after his opening statement.” No, the rest of us will.
1247pm EST. Sen. Grassley: I have a much more positive view of Judge Alito, and I believe the record will support my view. I don’t like to see facts twisted…to give nominees a black eye before they even have a chance to address the committee…opportunity to remind the public about the proper role of judges…
1257pm EST. Joe Biden. We all act like there’s not an elephant in the room…There has been significant debate by judicial scholars on whether or not we’ve gone off the path…I’m puzzled by some of the things you said…[In your application, when you say your proud of National Review, American Spectator, etc…those groups argue there is no right of privacy in the Constitution…in a sense, this is not about you…anybody who pretends that how you read the 10th or 11th amendment doesn’t have an impact on (reading Constitution) is kidding themselves…You are slated to replace the first woman ever nominated to the court…not your fault…More plaudits for O’Connor…I hope this hearing doesn’t turn out to be a “minuet.” I hope this is a conversation. The American people are entitled to know what you think…
The last words for today: Judge Alito’s statement. An excerpt:
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I’ve learned a lot during my years on the 3rd Circuit, particularly, I think, about the way in which a judge should go about the work of judging. I’ve learned by doing, by sitting on all of these cases. And I think I’ve also learned from the examples of some really remarkable colleagues.
When I became a judge, I stopped being a practicing attorney. And that was a big change in role.
The role of a practicing attorney is to achieve a desirable result for the client in the particular case at hand. But a judge can’t think that way. A judge can’t have any agenda, a judge can’t have any preferred outcome in any particular case
and a judge certainly 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 is that in every single case, the judge has to do what the law requires.
Good judges develop certain habits of mind. One of those habits of mind is the habit of delaying reaching conclusions until everything has been considered.
Good judges are always open to the possibility of changing their minds based on the next brief that they read, or the next argument that’s made by an attorney who’s appearing before them, or a comment that is made by a colleague during the conference on the case when the judges privately discuss the case.
It’s been a great honor for me to spend my career in public service. It has been a particular honor for me to serve on the court of appeals for these past 15 years, because it has given me the opportunity to use whatever talent I have to serve my country by upholding the rule of law.
And there is nothing that is more important for our republic than the rule of law. No person in this country, no matter how high or powerful, is above the law, and no person in this country is beneath the law…
September 13, 2012 04:43 PM by Doug Powers
August 1, 2012 09:46 AM by Michelle Malkin
October 9, 2012 11:16 AM by Doug Powers
November 7, 2012 02:19 PM by Doug Powers
June 21, 2012 11:43 AM by Doug Powers
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