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[CNN] Bush to nominate Alito to replace O'Connor

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Jebus, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. Jebus

    Jebus Contributing Member

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    http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/10/31/scotus.bush/index.html

    Officials: Bush to nominate Alito to high court
    Miers helps finalize choice to replace her as Supreme Court pick

    Monday, October 31, 2005; Posted: 6:54 a.m. EST (11:54 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush will nominate 3rd Circuit Appeals Court Judge Samuel Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court, sources told CNN on Monday.

    The president is expected to make an announcement at the White House at 8 a.m. ET., sources said.

    Alito, a former U.S. attorney who has been a judge for 15 years, is considered a favorite of the conservative movement and is Bush's third pick for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's seat.

    His first, Judge John Roberts, was later nominated and confirmed to replace the late William Rehnquist as chief justice of the United States. (See video on Bush effort to rebound -- 2:27)

    The second nominee, Texas lawyer and White House counsel Harriet Miers, withdrew from the process Thursday after weeks of opposition from both liberals and conservatives, who questioned her qualifications and record.

    The 55-year-old Alito was put on the circuit court bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 after his service as U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey.

    He also served as assistant to Solicitor General Rex E. Lee from 1981 to 1985 and deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese from 1985 to 1987.

    A Trenton, New Jersey, native, Alito graduated from Princeton in 1972 and earned his law degree from Yale in 1975.

    Legal experts consider him so ideologically similar to Justice Antonin Scalia that he has earned the nickname "Scalito."

    In one of his more well-known decisions, Alito wrote the opinion in a case that said a Christmas display on city property did not violate separation of church and state doctrines because it included a large plastic Santa Claus as well as religious symbols.

    In another, he was the only dissenting voice in a 3rd Circuit ruling striking down a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their husbands if they planned to get an abortion.

    Monday's announcement will return focus to the Supreme Court after a week of political difficulty for the White House and Republicans, with Miers' withdrawal coming a day before a grand jury indicted Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff on charges including perjury and obstruction of justice. (Full story)

    Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said he had been consulted by the White House about Miers' replacement but had not been informed of who the president plans to nominate.

    Specter said he is "very worried" that Democrats could filibuster a candidate they perceive as an extreme right-wing jurist.
    Confirmation could be tough battle

    The topic that "dominates the discussion," Specter said, is abortion.

    Both sides of the debate want to know in advance how a nominee will vote on the issue, but that is an answer that "no one is entitled to," he said.

    "There could be a real tough battle here and a real tough fight, depending on whom the president puts up," said Specter, who supports abortion rights.

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid -- a Nevada Democrat who had recommended Miers -- said Sunday he feared Bush would "try to placate the right wing" with his next nominee, "and that's a mistake."

    "If he wants to divert attention ... he can send us someone who's going to cause a lot of problems," Reid told CNN, saying the "radical right wing" was "pushing all his buttons, and he may just go along."

    Reid said the choice of Alito "would create a lot of problems."

    "That is not one of the names that I've suggested to the president," he said. "In fact, I've done the opposite."

    Bush nominated Miers on October 3 to replace O'Connor, often a moderate swing vote, on the high court.

    O'Connor, who has announced her retirement, will stay on the court until the Senate confirms her replacement.

    A senior administration official told CNN last week that the next choice will be based at least in part on the "lessons learned" from Miers' nomination.

    In addition to Miers' perceived lack of conservative credentials, the White House also could consider two other points of criticism on her nomination: her lack of experience as a judge or with constitutional law; and her close ties to the president, which prompted Democratic concerns about her judicial independence.
    Poll: Experience important

    A poll released Sunday suggests Americans consider experience as a judge as more important than choosing a woman or a conservative.

    The CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll of 800 adult Americans, conducted by telephone Friday through Sunday, found that only about one in seven said it is essential that Bush nominate a woman, and one in five said it is essential he nominate a conservative.

    But half believe it is essential that Bush nominate someone with experience as a judge.

    Sixteen percent said it is essential that the nominee would vote to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, and another 16 percent said it is a good idea.

    But 42 percent said a nominee who opposes Roe v. Wade would be a bad idea.

    The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

    CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this story.
     
  2. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Scalia's YoungerBrother

    I've been wrong before, and I hope on this to be wrong again, but the bets are on that Samuel Alito will be Bush's third nominee to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's Supreme Court spot. Alito, or "Scalito" as he is called because of his similarities to Justice and chief-idealogue Anton Scalia, is an appeals judge and former federal prosecutor.

    Scalia, who already has an acolyte in Clarence Thomas, doesn't really need another one. But that's exactly what we'd get with Alito. And, unlike with Miers, there's no question about how Alito would vote on gender and reproductive rights issues, civil rights questions, or expanding the powers of the executive branch.

    Check out his record, if you dare, but here are some of the low lights:

    In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, he was the sole dissenter when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to consult their husbands.

    In Homar v. Gilbert, Alito dissented from a ruling that a state university had violated a campus police officer's due process rights by suspending him without pay immediately after he was arrested on drug charges.

    He also wrote the majority opinion in a case against the ACLU and has been reluctant to acknowledge gender discrimination.

    If it does turn out to be Alito, our only hope is that the Democrats have enough back bone to whisper "Boo" and call a filibuster. Unlikely, at best.
    http://alternet.org/blogs/themix/#27536
     
  3. vwiggin

    vwiggin Contributing Member

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    Here's a quick survey of Alito's more important decisions from MSNBC.

    WASHINGTON - Samuel A. Alito has been a strong conservative jurist on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a court with a reputation for being among the nation’s most liberal.

    Dubbed “Scalito” or “Scalia-lite,” a play not only on his name but his opinions, Alito, 55, brings a hefty legal resume that belies his age. He has served on the federal appeals court for 15 years since President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1990.

    Before that Alito was U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1987 to 1990, where his first assistant was a lawyer by the name of Michael Chertoff, now the Homeland Security secretary.
    Story continues below ↓ advertisement

    Alito was the deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration from 1985 to 1987 and assistant to the solicitor general from 1981 to 1985.

    His New Jersey ties run deep. Alito, the son of an Italian immigrant, was born in Trenton and attended Princeton University. He headed to Connecticut to receive his law degree, graduating from Yale University in 1975.

    Lone dissent
    Among his noteworthy opinions was his lone dissent in the 1991 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that included a provision requiring women seeking abortions to notify their spouses.

    “The Pennsylvania legislature could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands’ knowledge because of perceived problems — such as economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands’ previously expressed opposition — that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion,” Alito wrote.

    The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, struck down the spousal notification, but Chief Justice William Rehnquist quoted from Alito’s opinion in his dissent.

    Former appellate judge Timothy Lewis, who served with Alito, has ideological differences with him but believes he would be a good Supreme Court justice.

    “There is nobody that I believe would give my case a more fair and balanced treatment,” Lewis said. “He has no agenda. He’s open-minded, he’s fair and he’s balanced.”

    In a 1999 case, Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark, the 3rd Circuit ruled 3-0 that Muslim police officers in the city can keep their beards. The police had made exemption in its facial hair policy for medical reasons (a skin condition known as pseudo folliculitis barbae) but not for religious reasons.

    Alito wrote the opinion, saying, “We cannot accept the department’s position that its differential treatment of medical exemptions and religious exemptions is premised on a good-faith belief that the former may be required by law while the latter are not.”

    In July 2004, the 3rd Circuit Court ruled that a Pennsylvania law prohibiting student newspapers from running ads for alcohol was unconstitutional. At issue was Act 199, an amendment to the Pennsylvania Liquor Code passed in 1996 that denied student newspapers advertising revenue from alcoholic beverages.

    Alito said the law violated the First Amendment rights of the student newspaper, The Pitt News, from the University of Pittsburgh.

    “If government were free to suppress disfavored speech by preventing potential speakers from being paid, there would not be much left of the First Amendment,” Alito wrote.

    In 1999, Alito was part of a majority opinion in ACLU v. Schundler. At issue was a holiday display in Jersey City. The court held that the display didn’t violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment because in addition to a creche and a menorah, it also had a Frosty the Snowman and a banner hailing diversity.

    In the case of Homar v. Gilbert in 1996, Alito wrote the dissenting opinion that a state university didn’t violate the due process rights of a campus police officer when they suspended him without pay after they learned he had been arrested on drug charges.

    Opinion on sex discrimination
    One of the most notable opinions was Alito’s dissent in the 1996 case of Sheridan v. Dupont, a sex discrimination case. Alito wrote that a plaintiff in such a case should not be able to withstand summary judgment just by casting doubt on an employer’s version of the story.

    In Fatin v. INS (1993), Alito joined the majority in ruling that an Iranian woman seeking asylum could establish eligibility based on citing that she would be persecuted for gender and belief in feminism.

    In a 1996 ruling that upheld the constitutionality of a federal law banning the possession of machine guns, Alito argued for greater state rights in reasoning that Congress had no authority to regulate private gun possession.

    On the bench, Alito is known to be probing, but more polite than the often-caustic Justice Antonin Scalia, to whom he is sometimes compared. In high school, he competed in debate with his younger sister Rosemary. His style is considered quiet and thoughtful.

    In a May 2005 profile in the Newark Star-Ledger, Alito said, “Most of the labels people use to talk about judges, and the way judges decide (cases) aren’t too descriptive. ... Judges should be judges. They shouldn’t be legislators, they shouldn’t be administrators.”
     
  4. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Wow, it didn't take long for the democratic smear campaign to begin.

    I have to ask some of you if you're examining the facts objectively or if you're just pulling the old knee-jerk reaction since it was Bush who appointed him. I ask you to step back and examine the facts, then make a decision. Think critically, liberals - I challenge you to do this.
     
  5. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    The facts are that Alito is a right wing activist judge that will legislate from the bench.

    Next.
     
  6. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    texxx challenging ANYONE to think critically is the laugh riot of the year.

    The irony is thick around here today.
     
  7. pirc1

    pirc1 Contributing Member

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    Guess there will be a big battle on the hills in the next few month. That should take some spotlight away from the white house. ;)
     
  8. Trader_Jorge

    Trader_Jorge King of the D&D, The Legend, #1 Ranking

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    It won't take long for the liberals to try to divide America by smearing this guy. The only problem for the libs is this -- they have less than half of America. No wonder they keep losing elections!
     
  9. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I can't really take enough time to smear this guy and divide America. I would like to, but if I don't keep trying to break America's will to fight then I won't feel like I saw that job to end.

    It isn't even 7 AM and already today I have broken 3 people's will to fight, so I may be finished breaking wills pretty early. Then I can get right on the business of dividing America. It is a lot of work for us liberals, but I think we are up to the task.
     
  10. rhester

    rhester Contributing Member

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    I was hoping for a Christian conservative who will do that. It would bring balance to the Court, I mean 'Force'
     
  11. flamingmoe

    flamingmoe Member

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    Bush had a few choices here, he could, A) work with the Senate minority party to produce a consensus nominee like most past adminirations have done or he could B) nominate someone that only a small fraction of Americans agree with and force a messy confirmation

    as is his forte, Bush ("I am a uniter") chose a divisive nominee

    do you really think this guy represents the majority of America?
     
  12. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    As a conservative, you know I love this pick. You Liberals need to chill out and remember that even though Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a huge leftist, she still was confirmed without much debate, I think it was a 98-2 vote or something like that. Alito is Bush's Ginsburg... get over it.
     
  13. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a huge leftist

    is fantansy.
     
  14. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    You Liberals need to chill out and remember that ...

    Filibuster rules. W needs to find a candidate that that Dems hate but not enough to filibuster.
     
  15. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    LOL! Riiight... she was a registered Democrat.
     
  16. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    and all registered Democrats are HUGE leftists. LOL right back at you.

    BTW, you do know that Orin Hatch told Clinton to nominate Ginsburg and the Senate Republicans would not fight it, right?
     
  17. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    Ruth Bader Ginsberg = Registered Democrat = Huge Leftist?

    Svpernaut, you are the dumbing down of America personified.
     
  18. underoverup

    underoverup Member

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    He should have selected another woman. :(
     
  19. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    lol - conservative.
     
  20. r35352

    r35352 Member

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