Wednesday, January 11, 2006


It has been a fun day for political junkies. First some of the lighter stuff:
  • Blogger Daniel Drezner is holding a contest to see what is the stupidest comment by a member of the Judiciary Committee. This is a fantastic idea. The Senators on the committee are a little too pleased with their own voices.

Proving that he is a crappy lawyer, Chucky Shumer tried to tie up Alito on his personal views on abortion. Captain's Quarters has a transcript that reveals the difference between the left and right on issues like this. Many conservatives would be willing to allow the abortion issue to be settled by the individual states. Some legal experts think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided precisely because it took control of that issue away from the states, even though it was an area seemingly granted to them by the 10th Amendment. Shumer tries to batter Alito using the Constitution, but his dreadful inability to differ between the explicitly mentioned freedom of speech and the implied right to privacy used to justify the Roe decision work against him.

It is also a part of a broader issue of concern to me. It is reasonable to believe that most people are called upon to do things in the course of their occupation that they may disagree with. Sometimes it is a matter of company policy, other times issues of law. Judges in particular are required and expected to administer the law and protect the Constitution even if it differs from their personal viewpoints. Therefore any examination of a judge's qualifications should be based on his or her professional ability to accomplish that task, and not on their personal views. Furthermore, so what if Alito is in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade? What is so wrong about that. Liberals are so wrapped up in the absolute 'rightness' of their views that they think anyone who disagrees is unworthy of high office. This article in today's Opinion Journal has some relation. Heather Mac Donald writes:

The Samuel Alito hearings will demonstrate the end result of law schools' political myopia.

If the Dems idea of mainstream looks like Shumer, Biden, and Kennedy, extremist isn't such a bad word after all.


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