Monday, January 23, 2006

Judge Alito's Radical Views

NYT reported If Judge Samuel Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearings lacked drama, apart from his wife's bizarrely over-covered crying jag,

The NYT objects to its coverage because it was one of the things that pointed out how much the Dems abused Alito.
it is because they confirmed the obvious. Judge Alito is exactly the kind of legal thinker President Bush wants on the Supreme Court.
That is why Bush nominated him
He has a radically broad view of the president's power, and a radically narrow view of Congress's power.
Apparently the NYT considers any idea contrary to its own is radical. However I believe that they NYT is the one with radical views.
He has long argued that the Constitution does not protect abortion rights.
It doesn't. It was a handful of activist judges that created that right, and then proected that right.
He wants to reduce the rights and liberties of ordinary Americans, and has a history of tilting the scales of justice against the little guy.

As senators prepare to vote on the nomination, they should ask themselves only one question: will replacing Sandra Day O'Connor with Judge Alito be a step forward for the nation, or a step backward?
If Ruth Bader Ginsburg could replace Byron White (Roe's leading dissenter), why can't Alito replace O'Conner.
Instead of Justice O'Connor's pragmatic centrism, which has kept American law on a steady and well-respected path, Judge Alito is likely to bring a movement conservative's approach to his role and to the Constitution.
Precisely the reason that George Bush was elected.
Judge Alito may be a fine man, but he is not the kind of justice the country needs right now.
He is exactly what we need.
Senators from both parties should oppose his nomination.

It is likely that Judge Alito was chosen for his extreme views on presidential power. The Supreme Court, with Justice O'Connor's support, has played a key role in standing up to the Bush administration's radical view of its power, notably that it can hold, indefinitely and without trial, anyone the president declares an "unlawful enemy combatant."

Judge Alito would no doubt try to change the court's approach. He has supported the fringe "unitary executive" theory,
I don't recall him ever refering to such a theory during his confirmation hearings, but it is true that we do have just a single president, i.e. the Presidency is not a committee
which would give the president greater power to detain Americans and would throw off the checks and balances built into the Constitution. He has also put forth the outlandish idea that if the president makes a statement when he signs a bill into law, a court interpreting the law should give his intent the same weight it gives to Congress's intent in writing and approving the law.
It seems reasonable to me. The primary thing is what the law actually says, and Alito said that is what he would follow, but if a judge is going to also look at congressional intent it seems reasonable to also look at executive intent, since both branches are involved in making a law.
Judge Alito would also work to reduce Congress's power in other ways. In a troubling dissent, he argued that Congress exceeded its authority when it passed a law banning machine guns, and as a government lawyer he insisted Congress did not have the power to protect car buyers from falsified odometers.
Congress frequently exceeds its power.
CQ blogged Like the rest of those who have come out in opposition to his confirmation, the only basis for their rejection is ideological, transforming the process into an election rather than an appointment. Either one has to believe that Supreme Court justices have to be vetted for ideology or that the process should be non-political. In both cases, the New York Times gets it wrong. If ideology is to remain outside of the process, then the only question for Judge Alito's confirmation is whether he has the competence to work on the Supreme Court. The ABA found him to have the highest degree of competence -- not the most conservative of groups either, one should remember -- as well as the highest degree of ethical practice. He has spent 15 years of fine public service on the federal appeals bench and almost a decade of work before that as a federal prosecutor, serving the people of the United States and enforcing the law. Outside of ideology, Judge Alito has the most experience in appellate law for a nominee in 70 years.

If ideology is to be considered, then the New York Times has it even more wrong. It asks whether a conservative should replace a centrist on the court. If ideology has suddenly become a qualifier, then one has to look at who nominates the candidate. The President won election twice, and at least during the last election, Supreme Court nominations clearly were a major issue. He has the mandate of the election to pick the ideological bent of the replacements for any opening on the Court; there is no quota system for leftists, centrists, and conservatives, nor have Presidents been particularly apt at guessing which categories their nominees would fill in the long run anyway. Bush's two elections show that the people want a more conservative court -- so as long as the Times considers ideology a basis for selection, then a conservative judge should be the most acceptable as a manifestation of the demand of the people.

OTB blogged The "unitary executive" theory merely holds that the President is the ultimate decision-maker in the executive branch, which is not only not "radical" it is the view of the Framers of the Constitution.

Hugh Hewitt blogged The trouble is that the paper's certainty about Alito's vote on abortion rights and its characterization of the judge's alleged consistent bias are both howlers and easily recognized as such. Hysterical claims of certainty and assertions of absurd lies don't persuade. They repel. Does the editorial board ever wonder why it has no influence? Zero?

Patterico blogged Note to the editors of the New York Times: If you are trying to persuade Sen. Lincoln Chafee to vote your way on this nominee, your argument would be more convincing if you at least try to spell the Senator’s name right. Hint: it’s “Chafee” — with only one “f.”

Ed Whelan blogged ’ll limit myself to the NYT’s core claim – that Judge Alito “has a radically broad view of the president’s power.” One problem with this claim is that the editorial offers not a shred of credible evidence to support it. The editorial charges that Alito “has supported the fringe ‘unitary executive’ theory, which would give the president greater power to detain Americans and would throw off the checks and balances built into the Constitution.” But the “unitary executive” theory merely takes seriously what Article II of the Constitution states: that the “executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” As Judge Alito testified repeatedly, it does not reach the separate question of the scope of that executive power. Indeed, the editorial’s charge that the theory “would give the president greater power to detain Americans” is contradicted by the fact (seemingly never acknowledged by those trying to use the “unitary executive” as a stick to beat Alito with) that Justice Scalia, a proponent of the unitary executive, took a much more restrictive view of executive power than Justice O’Connor did in the Hamdi case.

Rick Moran blogged Quick! Someone tell the editors at the New York Times that we had an election more than a year ago and that a liberal didn’t win nor did a “centrist.” A conservative won the Presidential election of 2004, one who promised to appoint conservative judges if he were re-elected. He didn’t promise to appoint centrists or women or minorities or anyone the New York Times could remotely approve. President Bush ran on a platform and repeated constantly that if given the opportunity, he would appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court.

This is what sticks in the craw of the Times’ editors. The people of the United States elected George Bush because he is a conservative. And the Times thinks that overarching fact should not matter. It bespeaks a contempt for the very concept of democracy that more and more, the editors of the New York Times are having a hard time in hiding.


Danny Carlton said...

tag you're it

Dana said...

Oh, you silly man!

If Ruth Bader Ginsburg could replace Byron White (Roe's leading dissenter), why can't Alito replace O'Conner?

That can't happen 'cause it would move the Court in the wrong direction! Surely you don't think that the left actually cares about balance, do you?

By the way, I found your site via a trackback to Patterico.

Don Singleton said...

The left is very conserned with balance. They just want the balance to tip to their side. <grin>