Alito Too Smart For Democrats and other news
At least that seems to be the general consensus.
Personally I think an attempt to block a nominee to the SCOTUS for ideological reasons is wrong. However this dance that is being performed is great for Democracy imo. Judge Alito is proving to the country just how much he knows about the law and demonstrating why he is qualified to serve on the court.
I think Captains Quarters has the best excert of the day:
Like the bad lawyer he has proven himself to be, Schumer asked one question too many:
SCHUMER: Does the Constitution protect the right to free speech?
ALITO: Certainly it does. That's in the First Amendment.
SCHUMER: So why can't you answer the question of: Does the Constitution protect the right to an abortion the same way without talking about stare decisis, without talking about cases, et cetera?
ALITO: Because answering the question of whether the Constitution provides a right to free speech is simply responding to whether there is language in the First Amendment that says that the freedom of speech and freedom of the press can't be abridged. Asking about the issue of abortion has to do with the interpretation of certain provisions of the Constitution.
The NYT says Judge Alito did very well on the first day of questioning:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 - If Senate Democrats had set out to portray Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as extreme on issues ranging from abortion to government surveillance of citizens, they ran up against an elusive target on Tuesday: Samuel A. Alito Jr. For nearly eight hours, Judge Alito was placid, monochromatic and, it seemed, mostly untouchable.
It was beginning to look as if the Democrats had shown up to a knife fight without a knife yesterday.
It was beginning to look as if they'd just been woofing when it came to the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. That they'd written a check full of bluster that a lackluster series of questions couldn't cash.
If the Republicans want to maintain their majorities in The House and Senate they should take Hugh Hewitt's advice when selecting new leadership. If whoever they choose for Majority Leader is eventually tied to the Abramoff scandal it will be very hard for them to recover in 2006.
The Volokh Conspiracy offers some poll results mentioned in this CNN story that claims the American Public is growing more skeptical of the secret NSA program recently exposed in a series of NYT stories and James Risen's new book. I checked the article myself. You can click on a link for some of the poll questions. Here are the results they allow you to see.
Question: Do you think the Bush administration has gone too far, has been about right, or has not gone far enough in restricting people's civil liberties in order to fight terrorism?
Answers: About Right 40%, 19% Not Far Enough (editors note: Thats 59% who feel the Bush admin has done enough or not gone far enough)
38% Gone Too Far, and 3% No Opinion.
Question: As you may know, the Bush administration has been wiretapping telephone conversations between U.S. citizens living in the United States and suspected terrorists living in other countries without getting a court order allowing it to do so. How closely have you been following the news about this?
46% Somewhat Closely, 29% Very Closely, 16% Not Too Closely, and 9% Not At All,
and the final question:
Question: Do you think the Bush administration was right or wrong in wiretapping these conversations without obtaining a court order?
50% Right, 46% Wrong, and 4% No Opinion.
What the article does not tell us is who was sampled, what were their political affiliations, were there any more questions and what was the wording of those questions?
This is once again an example of the press not being transparent. Why won't they give us access to everything in the poll?
I for one would like to know how the 25% of the people who answered they were either not following this story very closely or not at all to question two answered questions 1 and 3. Does anyone else think this is important?
Don't you want to know how people who have basically admitted to being ignorant of the details of this story answered?