Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alito Hearings

This morning I have been able to listen to some of the hearings for Judge Alito. I have three new observations.

First, I have to admit on all the resume issues he does seem to have been an overly ambitious person. But perhaps everyone in D.C. has a similar problem.

Second, he is mopping the floor with the committee. Alito is answering more questions with substantive information than many other judicial candidates. And he is politely refuting the implied premises of his attackers well. A good example this morning was the discussion of Presidential powers. Alito made it clear the President is bound by the constitution and laws of the US, but may not always be bound by the will of congress if the constitution does not support the congress. Yet Alito was artfully in never directly saying there were limits to congressional power.

Third, I hope Alito will not turn out to be like Kennedy and O'Connor. His answers are sometimes a bit too flexible for comfort. I would like additional assurance he is a principled man and not a pure pragmatist both in life and in law. But that said, I have hope he will turn out well. He probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

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