Confirmation hearings will take place next week to consider the nomination of Judge Sam Alito to replace Justice O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. There are a couple articles out today regarding the hearings.
The first is an op-ed written by Howard Dean
. Not surprisingly, Dean is opposed to Judge Alito's confirmation. Instead of stating a valid reason the judge should not be confirmed, such as a lack of qualification, Dean danced all over the place from Jack Abramoff to Halliburton. He cites a few former cases of Alito's attempting to frame them in a bad light. However, the cases or conflicts of interest Dean alludes to all came up in November and were debunked at that time. This op-ed clearly shows why no one should take Dean seriously.
The second is an article by Maura Reynolds of the LA Times titled Both Sides Warming up for Alito Hearings
. It appears to be a relatively balanced look at those in favor or opposed to Alito's confirmation. The article opens by acknowledging that the American Bar Association rated Alito "well-qualified." Before quotes from someone from the People for the American Way the article rightly described it as a liberal advocacy group. That's progress, usually, only conservative groups or think tanks are labeled by their ideology. The article showed some bias in who they selected to quote for the pro-Alito camp, Rev. Jerry Falwell. What, was Pat Robertson unavailable?
I'm sure over the weekend we will see many articles regarding the upcoming hearings. I'll collect and post the ones I see. As far as the hearings go, I expect the questions will be very similar to the ones thrown at Justice Roberts during his hearings. Some, like Captain Ed
, believe the Abramoff scandal will cause congress to act more responsibly during the hearings to restore their image. I disagree. While the reputation of congress as an institution has been soiled, I don't think any of the Democratic Senators on the Judicial Committee are in any political danger or care how they come across. Does anyone honestly think Ted Kennedy will treat the nominee decently just because Americans in general hold congress in low regard? Additionally, senators are elected for 6 year terms which further insulates them from ballot box repercussions.
UPDATE and BUMP-UP:
Here are some more Alito related articles.Alito may be the worst choice
by Robert Kuttner of the Boston Globe. This character is out there.THE ALITO HEARINGS
by David Reinhard of the Oregonian talks about two avowed liberals who support Alito because they know him well and believe he decides cases based on the facts not his ideological leanings.
I'm sure there will be more on Monday.