The Note: Credit Where Credit Is Due

Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe reports on Alito's involvement within a 1995 case where his sister's law firm was a representing side and Alito was a member of the overseeing appeals court. The White House says Alito "does not have recollection of this case." Alito's sister, confirmed by telephone that she was employed by the firm representing, but was '"absolutely not" personally involved in the case. Alito had said in 1990 that he would disqualify himself from any case involving his sisters law firm. LINK

Democratic Senators are also focusing on Alito's "decision" not to initially recuse himself from a case involving Vanguard.

Here is the story from the New York Times LINK, the Los Angeles Times LINK, and the Washington Post LINK.

Charles Hurt of the Washington Times reports that Alito is looking at an easier confirmation than expected. LINK

The New York Daily News interprets Sen. Chuck Schumer's faint praise of Judge Samuel Alito yesterday -- the New York Senator said the Judge does not have a view that "is clearly out of the mainstream" -- as a sign that Alito's confirmation is turning into a "slam dunk." LINK

Bush agenda:

The Washington Post's Eggen writes of some limits to a renewed USA Patriot Act gaining momentum on the Hill despite Administration opposition. LINK

"If these and other compromise measures are approved, it would mark another significant setback for the weakened Bush Administration as it battles the GOP-controlled Congress over the limits of its powers related to terrorism and the Iraq war. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and other Bush officials have argued for months in favor of the more administration-friendly House version of the Patriot bill, but the Senate version appears to have more momentum."

The politics of gas:

USA Today fronts yesterday's face-off between Senators and oil company executives, Noting Sen. Stevens' refusal to swear in the suits, thus avoiding "the kind of embarrassing photo that showed tobacco executives at a 1994 hearing swearing cigarettes were not addictive." LINK

The New York Times says consumers shouldn't expect much more action from Congress on gas prices beyond yesterday's hearings, even though prominent Republicans such as Sen. Bill Frist said after the sessions that they were not satisfied. LINK

2005: New Jersey:

Now that he's won the Governor's race, Jon Corzine has to confront the problems of governing New Jersey – something that is no easy task, according to the New York Times. LINK

"Mr. Corzine's greatest test will be to keep the appropriate distance from the party power brokers without alienating them so badly that they block his agenda."

Making Corzine's new job easier will be an increased Democratic presence in the New Jersey legislature following Tuesday's vote. LINK

2005: The Schwarzenegger special:

What's next for the Gubernator? asks the New York Times. LINK

Martin Kasindorf of USA Today analyzes the Schwarzenegger's next move following his bruising at the polls. First up: a media-laden trip to Asia, a chance to promote trade and burnish his star power. LINK

John Wildermuth and Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronicle report that Schwarzenegger is taking his ballot defeat as a sign that Californians are tired of special elections, not him. He is working to move forward with reforms through the legislature now, instead of at the ballot box. LINK

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