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Saturday, January 14, 2006 

Post-Hearings Thoughts

The final gavel of the Alito confirmation hearings has come and gone. I've been doing some thinking about the whole thing and what it all means. First, Alito will be confirmed. Any delay tactics used by the Democrats will be fruitless. The only reasons for them to delay would be to pander to their base and the interest groups. Expect a ton of anti-Alito commercials this coming week. PFAW, Alliance for Justice, and the others want to smear Alito as much as possible. They will not be happy with the Senate Democrats if they just let a vote happen. It's goofy, but it's politics.

Second, there has been a lot of talk about scrapping the hearings totally. Biden was quoted saying that he thinks that the system is broken. I guess he realized how much of a moron he looked like during his questioning. I will agree that the hearings don't really provide much of substance. It's all political grandstanding for the senators. However, I like the hearings because it shows the public just how stupid their senators are. Most of them are just windbags reading a script of questions that they don't really understand.

It reminded me of the Tyson-Lewis fight, with the Democrats in the role of Tyson and Alito as Lewis. The Democrats came out swinging. They attacked Alito, but just couldn't connect. Alito was patient and finessed them. By the end of the week, the Democrats were on the mat, defeated. Keep the hearings. I enjoy seeing a nice, lopsided fight.

Third, I think that there are now major questions about how the next nomination will unfold. I've said many times that I think that another vacancy is imminent. There are just too many old folks on the Court, and they are mostly in the liberal wing. That means that the next vacancy will give the president a chance to do something that his father, Reagan, Ford, and Nixon all failed to do: create a solid conservative majority on the Court. It's easier said than done.

There are two important factors: the make up of the Senate and the nominee him/herself. The big issue, as always, is Roe. If the nominee is on record against it or even can be assumed to be against it based on some inference, I think that a filibuster could be maintained. If the Democrats pick up seats in the Senate before the nomination, the filibuster is almost guaranteed. Then the focus shifts to the nominee. How concrete is the nominee's Roe opposition? Who is the nominee: a woman, an ethnic minority, both? What are the nominee's credentials and background? Will Roberts and Alito be on record to overturn Roe by the time of the nomination? There is so much to take into account in any nomination, but I believe that the scrutiny will be heightened with this one.

After Miers, I hope the White House learned and puts some real thought into this nomination. I've been kicking around a few names, trying to figure out who is confirmable. As of yet, I'm not ready to post about them. I have a little more examining and researching to do. You know what would be great? Two retirements at the same time.

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  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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