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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Judge Alito's Confirmation Hearing

After approximately two hours of watching Judge Alito’s confirmation hearing before the U.S. Congress, I have come to realize a couple of things. One, some people are just smarter than others. When watching several Senators question Judge Alito about cases ranging from the famous Rowe v. Wade to the more obscure cases like the transportation of machine guns across state lines it is quite apparent that he is almost always a step ahead of whatever question is being asked. It is amazing that any person can have so much knowledge about one subject and recall that knowledge in such a demanding way.

Another thing that I noticed is that some people are just dumber than others. Presently, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) is ‘questioning’ Judge Alito about abortion. It seems quite clear that he feels his job is to ‘serve up’ questions that Judge Alito will be able to answer without causing a stir with those that oppose his appointment. He began his ‘questioning’ with about a five minute speech about how great he thinks Judge Alito has been answering the questions and how “unfair” some of the questioners have been up to that point. After that he continued his ‘questioning’ with pauses to ask about a federal judge’s salary, a Supreme Court judge’s salary, and the ability of the President to lower a judge’s salary. How these are relevant, I do not know because he just moved on to the next question. What was really entertaining was seeing Judge Alito try to make some relevant comments after Senator Sessions’s pointless questions.

Now, I hope that Judge Alito is appointed to the Supreme Court. I have done a decent amount of research and it seems apparent that Judge Alito will try to continue the idea that a Supreme Court judge should not legislate from the bench. His/her job is to remain faithful to what the Constitution proscribes and interpret Constitution in today’s context. What I wish would happen is that some of the Republicans that share my sentiments and question Judge Alito during these proceedings would not try to bait him in their favor. It is obvious that they are trying to make Judge Alito come off in the light they want him too. These absurd ‘questions’ will most likely come back to haunt those in favor of the appointment by those not in favor. Actually, it is almost embarrassing to listen to these questions.

The have just announced a 15 minute break and will resume with Senator Feingold (D- Wisconsin). If he is opposed to the appointment (which I expect he will be) I half expect his opening statements to be nothing more than making fun of Senator Sessions. If it is indeed humorous, I will probably update this post to reflect that.

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