Alito Hearings: Sen. Statements/Alito, Part III
SHORTER BROWNBACK: Entering four cases into record where Alito ruled in favor of employment discrimination plaintiffs. Role of judges and courts was to be limited, according to Hamilton (again referencing Fed. 78 – but not referencing any of the counter-arguments from other Founders…just saying). Quotes Justice Frankfurter – judgments must be informed, but within narrow limits. No seat is reserved in the Supreme Court for certain philosophies. Make-up of Court has changed, just as elected branches have changed. Oooh – Brownback has a prop – a chart showing changes in decisions between Ginsberg and White (whom she replaced). (Prop critique: can’t read it. And a big blue poster with white writing on it looks hokey.) Cites Roe and Doe v. Bolton. Jumping on the pro-life bandwagon – talking about strict construction. (RH notes: why is strict construction only applicable when you disagree with the question at hand, but not applicable when it allows the Preznit to act outside the law? I’m just asking.) Goes on to talk about Downs Syndrome decisions for abortion and how the test for this can often be wrong. Oh, and people like you.
SHORTER COBURN: Going on and on about abortion and how wrong it is, because he’s a physician and he knows best. But no litmus test for him. Uh uh. (RH: Man, he is a one-track mind kind of guy, isn’t he? He’s been talking ad nauseam about abortion and how it applies to every other question for Alito.) Blah blah blah destroy unborn children blah blah blah abortion blah blah blah abortion is wrong blah blah blah disturbed that Sen. Kennedy would question your integrity. Answer where you can.
Now Alito is being introduced by Frank Lautenburg (D-NJ) and Christine Todd Whitman (R-Former Gov. NJ).
Alito now about to be sworn in to give his statment.
SHORTER ALITO: One note to start: his wife is clearly very proud of him, as I can see her sitting behind him to his right. He starts by thanking Senators for discussions, and expressing his admiration for O’Connor. Shares anecdote about how he got there. Says parents made a great impression on him – father was brought to this country as an infant. Very poor circumstances. Mother is first generation American – their story shows the power of one good deed. Saw late 60s/early 70s activism on the campus of Princeton as these people acting badly, and contrasted it with the good acts of the people in his home town experience. (No explanation of involvement with Princeton group.) Says he has learned from his wife’s experiences; his children’s; his family’s, especially as they get older; his sister’s, as a trial lawyer in a profession that has been traditionally dominated by men; has learned by doing in sitting on all of his cases, and learned by example via his colleagues. Has learned the difference between his attorney/client relationship – when you were outcome driven – and his role as a judge, which is solely to determine the case based on the facts and the law in front of you and nothing else.
Has been an honor to spend his career in public service, and especially to be a judge. Nothing is more important to the republic than the rule of law, no person is above the law nor is any person beneath the law. (And sorry, I missed the last couple of sentences due to a tantrum — the toddler’s, not mine. Can anyone fill me in?)
(Somehow a song and dance picture seemed appropriate. Snark intended.)
UPDATE: And it seems that I was not delusional, Coburn did say something along the lines of "we protect sodomites and prostitutes, but not the unborn." I’ve e-mailed Crooks and Liars, and John is nice enough to look for the clip for me. If he can pull it, hopefully it will be up at some point soon so I can get an exact quote.
UPDATE #2: Leah at Correntewire also liveblogged here.