Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Good news and an unsettling observation

The good news: The Supreme Court struck down the feds' attempt to circumvent Oregon's assisted suicide law. I see that Republicans respect states' rights to do what Republicans want; otherwise, the GOP is happy to invoke federal power to get its way. As you'll see from the article, the decision was 6-3, which means the power-addled Republicans aren't going to get a change from SCOTUS any time soon.

The unsettling observation: Samuel Alito may be well qualified in scholarly or legal terms, but I don't want him on the court. No, it's not because he's unfriendly to abortion or privacy rights (which he is, despite his demurrals), but because he has spent the confirmation hearings backtracking on his record. He was part of a college group dedicated to keeping women and minorities out of Princeton, but now he says he doesn't remember it. He advocated to the Reagan administration the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, but now says we should just overlook that because that was expressed on a job application. He says that Robert Bork was "one of the most outstanding nominees of the century" with whom he supposedly disagrees with on just about everything. Either Samuel Alito is a dizzyingly complex jurist, or else he's a fairly simple conservative who is doing everything he can to hide it. Either way, I don't want him to get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

I realize there's not much that can be done about it; Americans have given Bush their imprimatur to appoint these kinds of folks, and Bush has, understandably, taken them at their word. However, like the Iraq invasion and the 2001 tax cuts, we're going to be paying for Samuel Alito for a long, long time.

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