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A bold prediction

The most common knock against Sam Alito seems to be that he would be too deferential to government power once elevated to the high court. Maybe, but I'm not completely buying the conventional wisdom here.

Granted, he's no wild-eyed libertarian, and he'll certainly render opinions that will disappoint me from time to time, but I don't see him as a knee-jerk cheerleader for unchecked government power either. Such a fear, I think, is more justified for John Roberts than with Sam Alito.

I may be wrong, of course, as SCOTUS prognostication is not for the faint of heart. Still, based on all I've seen of the two judges' records, I think there's been a bit of an inversion in the commonly held perceptions of both men.

Ah well, we shall see. It's a done deal now, Alito having been confirmed 58 to 42.

I'll be toasting his confirmation with a drink tonight, but I won't be breaking out the good stuff I had on reserve in the event of a Janice Rogers Brown nomination. I guess I could still keep the good stuff stashed away on the off-chance that John Shadegg actually gets elected House majority leader.

Somehow I don't think that's going to happen, though. Instead I predict I'll end up like that dude in Sideways, sucking down a vintage bottle from a paper cup in some forlorn greasy spoon. Ah well.

Anyway, I wonder how many Senate Democrats are pissed at John Kerry? His quixotic filibuster attempt probably helped him curry favor with Kos, but how good was it for the party as a whole?

My guess is not very. Filibustering a SCOTUS nominee is an usual and dramatic step. No Supreme Court nominee has been filibustered since Abe Fortas*, so the very rarity of the maneuver enhances its impact.

The Democrats have, of course, now wasted a perfectly good filibuster against a nominee whose success was pre-ordained. Not only did that put many of Kerry's colleagues in a difficult position unnecessarily, but it also blunted the impact of the filibuster for future battles.

Oh well, not my problem, I suppose.

*I've heard it argued that, contrary to popular belief, Abe Fortas was not actually filibustered, but that the nomination was held up by other procedural delays. I don't really know if it's true, but the distinction seems to be a fine one in any case.


So Barry,
Are you anti-abortion? Alito will be 100% against Roe v Wade.

First of all, being "anti-abortion" and being against Roe v. Wade are not the same thing. Secondly, Alito's track record on abortion is mixed, to say the least. As I've said here before, Alito has come down on the "pro-choice" side in three out of the four abortion-related cases he's ruled on.

BW, I assume your concern for a shift in the court balance led you to oppose Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 1993 as she replaced Byron White, one of the two 'no' votes on Roe.

Please tell me you were consistent.

Roe V Wade is "bad law," and if overturned would NOT outlaw abortion, but merely retrun the issue to the individual States, where it rightfully belongs.

I say that no more than two States might outlaw abortion (AL & Utah?) and not too sure about them.

Besides, right now, Roe still has five votes (Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Kennedy)...parental notification and Third Trimester abortions are an entirely different matter... maybe four, maybe even three votes for those issues.

BUT the issue of the NSA wiretaps can pretty much be considered settled. For if it goes to the SC, with no less than FOUR federal courts and the FISA court ALL ruling that warrants are NOT required for "gathering foreign intelligence," if that issue goes before the SC, the Bush administration can probably safely count on at least FIVE votes (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy) in his favor.

Thus, we've probably and hopefully seen the curtain call for the NSA wiretaps issue, especially since something like 60% of Americans support such wiretaps of calls TO & FROM suspected terrorist/al Qaeda portals.

The next SC appointment will probably be the most interesting. Could it be Janice Rogers Brown replacing the octogenarian John Paul Stevens?

The sparks from that would create a wonderful light show.

Huh. And I showed up here tonight to find out what the annual drinking game was. Guess I'll have to check with Wonkette, instead.

Have a nice night, Barry, and don't get too wasted. I think I may have to...

Uh, you can take down that second one. It said your website wasn't responding. Really! I haven't had a drink (yet)!


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