Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Alito is a good political move

I think that these few paragraphs from Stanley Kurtz (at The Corner) on why the Alito nomination is a winning political move for Bush and the GOP just about nails it in a few paragraphs. Harry Reid warned Bush not to pick Alito, by the way. Hugh Hewitt mentions that Jonathan Turley told Katie Curic that the Demos "will come out of the dugout on this one," and predicted a filibuster. Kurtz thinks that should that happen it will be to the GOP’s long range advantage (i.e., 2006 elections). People for the American Way are hopping mad about this. The president of that outfit, Ralph G. Neas, said this: "Right-wing leaders vetoed Miers because she failed their ideological litmus test. With Judge Alito, President Bush has obediently picked a nominee who passes that test with flying colors." By the way, someone just said to me that if Alito is confirmed he will make the fifth Catholic on the Court. Is this true?

Discussions - 10 Comments

yes, 5th Catholic

Why is bad to have 5 Catholics on the bench? Is this an anti-christian remark? Why should there religion matter anyway?

Mostly, having 5 Catholics on the SCOTUS is an oddity; 5 is a majority that give unproportional "representation" to this minority. This is also interesting considering historic prejudices against Catholics in the United States (by far a "Protestant" country). To certain ideologies, however, "representation" matters a lot (the quota view of affirmative action).

I didn’t see anyone here say it was good or bad. A little quick to the "anti-christian" suggestion, no?

Who cares the man’s religion; anytime a SCOTUS nominee can get PAW’s dander up, this is a good thing.

Here is the most predictable result of Alito being the "fifth Catholic": Kennedy will now go out even more left to differentiate himself from his fellow believers (Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and A.). Kennedy might support the federal partial birth abortion ban since he wrote a strong dissent in Stenberg, but otherwise he can be counted on to go left on virtually everything -- he will be the Brennan of the Roberts Court to prove his private religion will not get in the way of his public judgment.

(This of course reignites the controversy that roiled the 2004 election as to whether the Bishops should threaten to withhold communion not just from Catholic candidates but from JUDGES who oppose Church doctrine on abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.)

What happened to the Right’s fixation on the (misleadingly named) "up or down vote?" Didn’t Miers deserve that? Bush nominated her; she should have at least been given a chance via an up or down vote!

Craig,

She would have had a vote. SHE withdrew.

Sorry about comment #2. I thought that was still part of Ralph Neas quote.

What’s "misleading" about calling for an "up or down vote"?

I disagree with Dennis. It is possible that Kennedy might be moved slightly right by the presence of younger and brighter lights, and less harsh than Scalia, who share his faith. His dissent in Stenberg was very very strong, and bore on his disenchantment with the deal he supposed he had in Casey. I understand that he has been in the forefront on homosexual matters, and that is unlikely to change. But he might be persuaded to be the 6th vote (not the 5th) in a reconsideration of Roe/Casey. This is a hunch only, based on reading opinions and Court gossip.

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