The Note: Sweat the Big Things

"Judge Alito has served on the federal bench for more than fifteen years and his record shows a clear pattern of modesty, respect for precedent and judicial restraint. Twenty years ago he was among the vast majority of Americans who supported the policies of the Reagan administration . Some outside of the mainstream groups have claimed that service in the Reagan administration should disqualify someone from service as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. That notion was decisively refuted during the Roberts confirmation process. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had served as general counsel of the ACLU and had advocated liberal political positions including the ideas that the age of consent should be 12, there was a right to prostitution and polygamy in the Constitution and Mother's Day should be abolished. Republicans voted overwhelmingly to confirm her because she was evaluated on her qualifications and more than 12 years of jurisprudence as a federal judge."

Schmidt refused, however, to address the key quote in the Washington Times story.

David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times raises the curtain on the advertising campaign, set to begin later this week, aimed at criticizing Judge Alito's record in areas beyond the abortion issue. (Note Schmidt's pre-buttal before viewing the ads for a hint of what is to come.) LINK

And a sharp-elbowed Republican strategist tells us: "The abortion fight might make liberal activists happy but it is not a winning fight for Democrats. Any of them listen to Tim Kaine's radio ads. What about Bob Casey Jr.??"

While writing in an op-ed for the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal that "guarantees are for used cars, not judicial nominees," Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) reviewed the things Alito has told him that suggest Alito would not overturn Roe v. Wade.

"In evaluating Judge Alito's jurisprudence on this subject, it is significant that he told me he accepts Griswold v. Connecticut, which affirmed the right to privacy as part of the liberty clause. Judge Alito also acknowledged to me the extra precedential weight of Casey and other Supreme Court decisions re-affirming or leaving Roe intact. While he did not adopt the concept of super-precedent or super-duper precedent, he did say there was a 'sliding scale' giving extra weight to the Supreme Court decisions following Roe. The principle of stare decisis has many other ramifications which will be extensively discussed at his hearings. In observing his demeanor and listening to his 'words' the committee will be paying much attention to his 'music.'"

Specter also indicated in the op-ed that if due process had been followed, Harriet Miers "might well have been confirmed."

Timesmen Justice and Pilhofer take a look at the pro-Alito side, with their Progress for America profile, which should remind John Podesta that his team remains far, far behind. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's ed board writes that Alito's opponents are going after him on ethical charges because they know they can't beat him on his credentials or judicial philosophy.

Judge Alito is no Scalia, says USA Today in an editorial, but he is a well-qualified conservative. LINK

The Los Angeles Times reviews Alito's sole jury trial, and finds he was a competent prosecutor – if (not) a bit of a "showboat." LINK

Elisabeth Bumiller uses her New York Times "White House Letter" to look at Harriet Miers' post-nomination life. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

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