October 31, 2005
Bush Nominates a Qualified Conservative
Nominee Samuel Alito may be our next Supreme Court justice. Bush, showing he has learned from the Miers mess, carefully drew attention to a few points in his nomination speech.
Judge Alito has served with distinction on that court [the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals] for 15 years, and now has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years.

He has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. This record reveals a thoughtful judge who considers the legal merits carefully and applies the law in a principled fashion.

He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people.

Alito himself showed why he was on the short-list of conservatives with his follow-up introduction.
Every time that I have entered the courtroom during the past 15 years, I have been mindful of the solemn responsibility that goes with service as a federal judge. Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system.
I am happy with Alito nomination, even though I wish he were younger. At 55, he is pushing the envelope of what I would call an effective nomination given that no one knows who may hold the presidency when Alito dies or retires. However, I like everything else. He has been a voice of reason on the liberal 3rd Court. Alito is a family man, so his children will be impacted by his decisions. And as President Bush so emphatically pointed out, Alito has more judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in seven decades.

Many Republicans have already provided press releases supporting Alito. No surprise there, what do you expect them to say? The big surprise with Miers is that Bush's base didn't think she was qualified. I find the response of liberals to be far more enlightening. Many liberals, including Henry Reid, were strong supporters of Miers. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has compiled some quotes. I've copied those of influential Democrats.

The nomination of Judge Alito requires an especially long, hard look by the Senate because of what happened last week to Harriet Miers. Conservative activists forced Miers to withdraw from consideration for this same Supreme Court seat because she was not radical enough for them. Now the Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev

Rather than selecting a nominee for the good of the nation and the court, President Bush has picked a nominee whom he hopes will stop the massive hemorrhaging of support on his right wing. This is a nomination based on weakness, not strength. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass

President Bush put the demands of his far-right political base above Americans' constitutional rights and legal protections by nominating federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People For the American Way

It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor, who would unify us. This controversial nominee, who would make the court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY

Now the gauntlet has been, I think, thrown down. It was humiliating, it was degrading and it's a profound and distributing view of Judge Alito that he would uphold spousal notification as he did in the Pennsylvania case, and it raises concerns about his views of women. Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL-Pro Choice America

Wow! Even if I knew absolutely nothing of Alito, the contrast between how the liberals treated the nominations of Miers and Alito is quite illuminating. Any nominee who can instantly reveal such animosity from Senators Reid, Kennedy, and Schumer as well as past and present leaders of very liberal political organizations is doing something right.

Alito is the third nominee for Supreme Court Justice O'Conner's seat. The first, Roberts, was appointed as Chief Justice when Rehnquist died. Miers withdrew her nomination after seeing that her nomination was splitting the Republican Party. Alito's nomination may cause a fight between liberals and conservatives in the Senate, but will draw conservatives together again. Assuming we do not find out any negative surprises about Alito, let's help him get confirmed by sending letters to our senators as well as key senators with presidential aspirations. However, after all the obviously delight the Democrats showed when the correctly commented that the Miers nomination was splitting the party, don't forget to enjoy the public display of liberals gnashing their teeth over the nomination of someone who is unlikely to legislate from the bench.

October 28, 2005
God Bless Harriet Miers
I believe Harriet Miers has just saved her boss, President Bush, and the Republican Party from a nasty internal fight. I had previously written about the problems with nominating Miers, and unless she pleasantly shocked me during the confirmation hearings, I was going to express my desire that my senators vote no on her nomination.

Miers' withdrawal from consideration has given Bush another chance. I hope he'll nominate a strong nominee with an established constitutional philosophy. I hope he'll nominate a person who understands the role of a judge is that of an umpire, not a player. I hope he'll nominate a person who is in good health and under 50 years-of-age who will be around to protect the rights of Americans for decades to come.

October 25, 2005
British Pigs and Muslim Correctness
First the Muslims came for Piglet and the British government appeased them. Then the British Banks eliminated their piggy banks to appease their Muslim customers. A nation with the history of the UK should understand the problems with appeasement. But those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

October 15, 2005
Don't Watch
When I was a kid, I loved reading Douglas Adam's series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Last night I rented the DVD and watched the movie. It was horrible. I kept asking myself "Why did you like the books?"

October 14, 2005
Spaghetti Nomination: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly About Miers
I have waited over two weeks to post about President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers for several reasons. I was disappointed that Bush did not pick someone with an established constitutionalist view, I was not familiar with Miers, and my personal time has been scarce. Since the nomination, I have learned more about Miers and I have had time to think about the pros and cons of this nomination. I've classified my observations into the good, the bad, and the ugly.