As a liberal, what scares me is not the prospect of having Sam Alito on the Supreme Court; what scares me is the way my fellow liberal Democrats are behaving in response to the nomination. I’m appalled and embarrassed by the fear mongering, the personal attacks and what I see as an irresponsible and misleading distortion of his real judicial record as well as his character. Now the threat of a filibuster lurks, and Senator Kennedy’s tirade about documents being concealed seems like little more than a pretext to justify such a threat.Of course, an honest appraisal of Alito's abilities and qualifications was never the goal.
In light of the Alito feeding frenzy, I feel compelled as a liberal and a former clerk to speak out and attempt to offer a different perspective to perhaps stem, or at least counter, what I see as a short-sighted, ill-considered and counter-productive attack strategy, made, sadly, by the very same liberal groups whose mission and philosophy I ordinarily support and embrace. I did not want to be part of the spin, but I don’t know how to stop it except to say what I know and hope some will listen.
In all candor, I expect that if I did not know Judge Alito, I may have responded to the nomination with the same distrust, fear and suspicion with which I usually respond to everything the Bush administration does, so I understand the genesis of the attacks by my fellow liberals. However, having worked closely with Judge Alito, I know that he is not a political ideologue intent on advancing a conservative political agenda. If he were, we would not have the decisions in which he reached or supported "liberal" outcomes. These include pro-choice decisions that affirmed and applied Roe v. Wade, as well as cases favoring plaintiffs bringing discrimination suits, cases that ruled in favor of criminal defendants, or a case that expanded a women's rights to seek political asylum on the basis of gender. These are just not the results you would expect to see if he were a conservative ideologue.
Friday, January 13, 2006
One of Alito's former clerks, an avowed liberal, explains why she is so upset about how the liberal interest groups and their puppets, the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have treated Judge Alito.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 7:05 AM