Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Alito Should Probably Not Be Confirmed

Here it is in black and white, Sam Alito, applying for a job, saying flatly he does not believe in racial and ethnic quotas, a constitutional right to an abortion or the Warren Court (the outstanding decision of which was to do away with racial segregation).

That's almost enough for me. I'm willing to wait for the hearings, but I'm fairly sure I will not want to see this man on the Supreme Court. What we have already puts him close to G. Harrold Carswell, the Nixon nominee to the court whose selection was rejected after it was revealed that he had told an audience in 1948 he believed in white supremacy.

The nation has moved on even since Alito spoke out in 1985, and it is now fighting a war against fanatic believers in a barbaric wing of a religion. Yet President Bush wants to see a Supreme Court which has a majority of five Catholics who seem committed to a Pope who has already purged some moderates and is clearly not willing to pursue reform.

When someone like Alito takes the same stands as the German pope, Benedict, who recently refused to denounce terrorism against Israel, I know I have little in common with him.

The L.A. Times editorial this morning, good as far as it goes, quotes Alito as telling Sen. Dianne Feinstein that he is now "older" and "wiser" than he was in 1985 when he was applying for a job in the Reagan Administration. Carswell once said much the same about his white supremacy speech.

Alito should be held to proving his reassurances in explicit, not elliptical, language. But as the New York Times said in its editorial on the subject this morning, his excuse that he was merely hunting for a job when he said these things does not excuse them. In fact, it raises the question of what a character like Alito will say this time to get the job. When he made these remarks in 1985, he was a yammering little man on the make, and he still has that appearance.

The signs are bad. Alito is not Sandra Day O'Connor, and he does not sound like a reasonable person in the middle of the road. The Supreme Court is too important to give anyone a lifetime seat who seems unreliable. In naming him, the President was clearly catering to the right in the Republican party and the Christian know-nothings.

We had to find out about Alito from the Reagan Library, incidentally not, the Bush Administration. What comes out of the White House these days is simply not credible.

What finally happened to Carswell by the way? He ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Florida, but did not seem to be faring too well, when I went down to Florida as Southern Times correspondent to cover his campaign. I asked his campaign manager what he would consider a mark of success in the campaign, and he answered, "Getting the candidate to take less than three hours for lunch." Later, after he lost in the primary, Carswell was arrested for making a pass at another man in a men's restroom.

Alito is probably better than that. Still, he probably should be rejected.


Blogger Matt Weinstock said...


Do you have Catholic Guilt?


11/16/2005 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Brian Craig said...

"saying flatly he does not believe in racial and ethnic quotas, a constitutional right to an abortion"

This is exactly why he should be confirmed.

Quotas should be despised by all who truly believe in equality for all American citizens.

There is absolutely nothing in the constitution about abortion. This issue should be up to the 50 state legislatures. In Utah, one probably would not be able to get an abortion, but in other states abortion rights would be expanded. The issue of Roe v. Wade is paralyzing the Democratic Party in many ways and turning this issue over to the states is the only way to move beyond it.

11/16/2005 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, should women in Utah have fewer constitutional and human rights than women in other states? For that matter, should African-Americans in Louisiana have fewer constitutional and human rights than African-American in California?

The United States Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Alito would seek to deny it. Simple as that. It is time to stand up for what is right in this country and take it back from the far right, warmongering lunatics who are running it now. Otherwise, we may well wake up one day to find ourselves in an evangelical Christian version of Iran--or Saudi Arabia.

11/20/2005 9:39 PM  

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