Monday, October 31, 2005

Scalito Not As Qualified as Miers?

I was faced with a conundrum as I scraped wallpaper and attempted to paint my dining room this weekend. If Harriet was THE most qualified for SCOTUS then what could we expect as runner-up when her nomination when up in flames. We received our answer this morning, Samuel Alito, Jr.

From reading captions and some more in depth readings of his decisions, dissents, and affirmations I have concluded that this is going to be a hard pick for the Democrats to fight. While definitely conservative, this guy at least has a record. His two federal nominations went through unopposed. His time on the bench has tackled constitutional issues, and while an avid dissenter a number of his dissents were vindicated by SCOTUS. Below, I am listing major cases his was a judge on or provided case law for SCOTUS review. At this moment I am refraining opinion, until I get a chance to read through at least a few of these. A synopsis, with links to case caption

On abortion, Alito was the lone dissenter in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to inform their husbands.

ACLU v. Schundler, Alito wrote the majority opinion holding that a city's holiday display that included a creche and a menorah did not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment because it also included secular symbols such as Frosty the Snowman and a banner promoting racial diversity.

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. The Supreme Court later agreed with Alito's view that no hearing was required because the criminal charges showed that the suspension was not baseless.

A majority opinion in Saxe v. State College Area School District, 240 F.3d 200 (3d Cir. 2001), striking down as contrary to the First Amendment a public school district anti-harassment policy that extended to nonvulgar, non-school-sponsored speech that posed no realistic threat of substantial disruption of school work.
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Slate has an article covering more cases including Doe v. Groody wherein Alito seems to thin patting down 10 year olds is okay as long as you have a warrant for HIS FATHER and his father ALONE!

NARAL has already fired a salvo across the nominee's bow.
WaPo offers us a choice of articles on the Alito nomination.

While most on the right are in mastabatory glee over the Shrub's choice. The Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to be gearing for a fight. How much of a fight, is always in question with this bunch, but with Shrub's back to the wall it is no time for the Dems to give him a free pass.

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