How Do You Spell Filibuster? Alito

By Denise Best | Related entries in In The News, Supreme Court

Well, it’s official, Samuel Alito’s the newest victim, excuse me, nominee.

Looks like a showdown is looming.

Based upon comments from over the weekend, it appears that Sen. Harry Reid won’t be in the running for membership in the Alito fan club, but will instead be one of many vocal opponents of Alito during the nomination process.

With the announcement of a new Supreme Court nominee expected as early as Monday, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, warned President Bush on Sunday not to pick one of the candidates said to be on the president’s short list, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.

“I think it would create a lot of problems,” Mr. Reid said on “Late Edition” on CNN.

This go-round, though, the issue will not be judicial experience and qualifications, rather the challenge of “fitness” will revolve around abortion rights views.

Mr. Specter said he was “very worried” about the possibility of a filibuster. “The topic which dominates the discussion, as we all know, is a woman’s right to choose,” said the senator, who supports abortion rights.

He continued: “You have both sides poles apart, and insistent on finding some answer to that question in advance of the hearing, which no one is entitled to. Guarantees are for used cars and washing machines, not Supreme Court justices.”

Trying again to name a second Supreme Court justice presents a rare opportunity for Mr. Bush to revitalize his political base and to put his mark on the court at a time when the White House is besieged.

Polls show Mr. Bush’s popularity at a new low. American casualties continue to mount in Iraq, the president’s domestic agenda is in limbo, and the White House is reeling from the indictment of I. Lewis Libby Jr., a top aide, a day after the withdrawal of Mr. Bush’s previous Supreme Court nominee, Harriet E. Miers.

But because the nominee would succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the swing vote on abortion rights and other social issues, any pick that pleased conservatives would most likely meet ferocious resistance from the left. The withdrawal of Ms. Miers has emboldened the left and the right to step up their demands, and a second failed pick will only compound the pressure.

On Sunday, Senator Reid and other Democrats sought to capitalize on the president’s political vulnerabilities as he picked a nominee.

Democrats emboldened.

A vulnerable administration and party in-fighting.

Looks like it’s going to be filibuster time.


This entry was posted on Monday, October 31st, 2005 and is filed under In The News, Supreme Court. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “How Do You Spell Filibuster? Alito”

  1. Justin Gardner Says:

    And by the way, rightly so. From everything that I can see from his record, Alito is Scalia++.

    I’ll save my final judgement for later in the week, but right now this guy seems like just the sort of “activist” judge the right decries, although it’s never activism when it’s affirming your side.

  2. Denise Best Says:

    We’ll have to wait and see …

    In the meantime though, you know coffee prices are probably going to go up in anticipation of the “filiblustering.”

    Yep, there’ll be truckloads of java being brought over to the Hill.

    Betcha “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” is going to get some airtime too!

  3. ford4x4 Says:

    Is SCOTUS responsible for anything other than Roe v. Wade?
    That’s all anyone seems to care about anymore. I couldn’t care less about abortion, but I am concerned about how a candidate might interpret the constitution ni the future.

  4. john Says:

    Good point Ford.

    Denise, do you think it healthy to be warning of fillibusters yet? It seems to me that the Righties want the “showdown” and fillibuster. I’m not saying Meirs was a good choice, but it was the Righties who shut that nominee down, not the Dems. Y’all want to see it so you can scream “There, There you see the Dems are blocking the Conservative right. Now let’s get rid of the fillibuster, cuz it’s holding up the process.” That mindset is going to bite you kids in the Ass. Good luck with it.

  5. Denise Best Says:

    Ford,

    I agree — excellent point.

    John,

    I’m not promoting the filibuster possibility – just sharing what the brethern from the Left have been offering as their reaction to Alito’s nomination.

    Personally I think it would be a waste of time and money essentially shutting down the legislature with that approach.

  6. john Says:

    I have not heard the word Fillibuster once from a Senate Democrat regarding Alito as yet. He is far right wing, and wouldn’t be surprised if the Dems did fillibuster him, but it is really early in the process to make predictions. The Righties were saing they’d fillibust Roberts too. Never ended up happening even when he was bumped to chief justice. Let’s just wait and see what the dems do. Y’all might just get the chance to get rid of fillibuster.

  7. Meredith Says:

    I understand the dangers of the dreaded fillibuster. However, conservatives are constantly digging their heels in and insisting that their values won’t be compromised. Why is it not OK when liberals do the same?

    IF, and I do mean IF, this guy is a right wing wack-a-doo, the Dems absolutely should fillibuster. This nomination is HUGE. In my mind, this is much more important than the election of any executive or legislative branch official, including the President. Why?? Because with a strong conservative majority on the Supreme Court, every single one of us in this country will be affected by it for DECADES to come. The “Supreme Law of Land” could really personally affect all of us in some negative ways that I predict will cause “rank and file” conservatives to scrath their heads and say, “I really didn’t think about that.”

    By the way, apparently there has not been a strong conservative majority on the Supreme Court (as I believe there will be if Alito, or anyone like him, IF he turns out to be extreme right-wing idealogue) since the 1930′s, and as someone who has studied constitutional law quite a bit, I would say that didn’t turn out real well, as it took DECADES to undo all the bad law that was made at that time. And, it wasn’t bad because I didn’t agree with it. It was bad because it was not necessarily based on a correct interpretation of our Constitution, AND it caused a lot of problems, practically speaking, for our country.

  8. sleipner Says:

    Though I’m certainly worried about this nomination, what I’m truly terrified about is the possibility that one of the progressive stalwarts on the bench will retire or (hopefully not) pass on prior to the already limping duck W being catapulted out of office in 2008.

    My only hope is that enough seats in the Senate will change hands next year to force Bush to select at least a moderate.

    I do think (hope) the Democrats will filibuster this nominee, as he is clearly way too conservative to replace the moderate O’Connor. However, I think most of them will wait until the hearings actually take place, so that the right wing can’t scream and blame them for “prejudging” the candidate prior to the hearings.

  9. Bob Says:

    I’ve got a question I’m itching to know the answer to: How pro-choice is arlen specter? I mean, before we even talk about a filibuster, the nomination has to get through committee, not? It could possibly be politcal suicide for any republican to oppose this nomination, but this has the potential to be bigger than any single person’s politcal life. I still consider myself a moderate republican, but changing laws with the supreme court because you can’t pass an amendment is going to create far more problems than it solves.

    I have this awful feeling that one way or another next election is going to be all about the supreme court. Here’s hoping it somehow remains removed from petty politics, as it is supposed to be.

  10. Meredith Says:

    The Supremes have been changing laws because it’s nearly impossible to pass an amendment ever since they have existed. What problems have their been? And, can you seriously say that any problems that have been created are worse than having all the laws stay the same as they were 200+ years ago?

    FYI – I think Arlen Specter is mildly pro-choice. However, I’ll bet my law school debt that he will not reject Alito because of that, or that he will reject him at all. It will be interesting to see if any Repubs will actually vote to reject.

  11. Denise Best Says:

    Watch the Gang of 14 — Republican Moderates are going to be receiving a boatload of pressure from the various interest groups and are looking to be a major factor in voting clout.

  12. Orewan Says:

    Respect for the presidential election is important in deciding whether or not the minority party should fillibuster a president’s nominee for the Supreme Court. A fillibuster is required when a nominee is unfit for the appointment or clearly contrary to the American people’s sense of justice and the constitution. The majority of Americans voted for Bush in 2004 knowing that he would likely be appointing new Supreme Court justices. The American people have the right and the obligation to live with the consequences of their vote.

    I disagree with many of the decisions Alito has made, especially with regards to women’s and workers rights, civil rights, and gun control. But, Bush is an intellectually challenged ideologue with a penchant for cronyism, and we are lucky he didn’t appoint one of his daughters to the high court. Democrats lost in 2004 and they need to get a lot smarter to be able to win in 2008. Fillibustering Alito’s nomination now is not be part of an effective long-term strategy. It would be a continuation of the kicking and screaming begun after the 2004 election.

  13. New Trommetter Times Says:

    Forget the Gang of Fourteen

    If there is a filibuster, I hope the Republicans will force the Democrats to actually stay on the floor and continue speaking. No gentlemanÂ’s agreement here.

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