Samuel Alito is George W. Bush’s dubious nominee to the Supreme Court.
From an editorial in yesterday’s New York Times:
Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation’s basic philosophy of government…
It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public’s attention to the import of this nomination.
…The judge’s record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else. He has expressed little enthusiasm for restrictions on presidential power and has espoused the peculiar argument that a president’s intent in signing a bill is just as important as the intent of Congress in writing it. This would be worrisome at any time, but it takes on far more significance now, when the Bush administration seems determined to use the cover of the “war on terror” and presidential privilege to ignore every restraint, from the Constitution to Congressional demands for information.
…Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito’s supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote.
A filibuster is a radical tool. It’s easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
I want a filibuster and agree with most of this editorial.
However, I don’t consider the filibuster “a radical tool.” Some of President Clinton’s judicial nominees were blocked by a single Senator. This proccess is called the “blue slip.” Compared to that, a filibuster by 41 Senators is plenty of Senators.