Big Government Conservative? Blech!
Way, way down in this article of puffery from Judge Alito's alma mater, Princeton (not surprising, but puffery just the same) is this tidbit from his still-friend, FoxNews commentator and rightwing judge, Andrew Napolitano:
"Napolitano also said he wasn't surprised that Bush chose Alito.
"'Sam Alito is just what George Bush is looking for: a big government conservative who will almost always side with the government against the individual, and the federal government against the state,'" Napolitano said.
"Napolitano said he was optimistic about Alito's chances of becoming a Supreme Court justice. 'I think Sam will be confirmed,' Napolitano said. 'He will come across as a less charming, less warm Roberts...There's no way they'll filibuster.'"
"...will almost always side with the government against the individual..."?! That's an endorsement?
As I said before, this is the moment for so-called "moderate" Republicans and "true blue" Democrats to filibuster a judicial nomination. As Tristero says over at Digby's place, with Tristero's usual harsh language, we must continue to remind people that the Terrible President is hugely unpopular and that a hard-right nominee is something opposed not merely by "true blue" Democrats, but probably a third of those who voted for the Terrible President in 2000 and 2004. That's my own guess, but it's based upon the circle of Republicans I have seen and known in Southern California for the past 20 years.
Outside reading: Julian Sanchez's self-described semi-defense of Alito is definitely worth reading. However, after viewing several of the cases, Julian's piece reaffirmed my view that Alito has a crabbed view of the federal government when it seeks to enact social legislation (the Family Leave/Medical Act decision) and a deferential, if not expansive view of government when it comes to the power of the police to strip search 10 year olds (Doe v. Groody). I note that several times, in cases involving deportee rights, civil rights, and other personal rights issues, including abortion, Alito's position was not merely rejected by the majority (including the US Supreme Court in the Casey decision), but essentially ridiculed as either "ignoring precedent" or "redefining accepted standards" or analysis. This is the Terrible President's idea of a guy who is not a judicial activist?
The fact that Julian Sanchez can't decide whether to support or oppose Alito shows, once again, that most so-called libertarians are more comforable with real jack booted government in the form of expansive police power--but are willing to use the rhetoric of "jackboots" to describe the Social Security administration. Note, for example, that Julian likes the fact that Alito was crabby on the Family Medical Leave Act to the point where he is wondering whether he can live with Alito's expansive and deferential treatment of the police in Doe v. Groody. I hate picking on Julian again--see this post--because his analysis is largely valid as to the the Daily Kos and a couple of culturally liberal interest groups being somewhat sloppy about Alito's positions. I hope I'm not being too sloppy myself in expressing my views on Alito. In my previous post this morning, I was going to work and just relying on the summary from the People for the American Way, which was no better than the ones Julian reasonably criticized.
The bottom line remains, however: Filibuster this guy because he is clearly of the hard right and to the right of O'Connor. The Terrible President did not receive a mandate for this guy. It's that simple. And Arlen Specter should be leading the way here--if he has enough guts. If the far right can stop Miers, then the "moderate" right can stop Alito (with Democratic Party assistance).
P.S. As a Jewish guy with an Italian heritage on my Mom's side and having grown up in New Jersey, I do admit I'd probably personally like Alito. But business is business and I think Alito would understand. If not, them's the breaks. Capeesh?