Once again, we bloggers have gotten all geared up for nothing.
I really thought Judge Alito was going to get slammed hard by the left, including the Los Angeles Times. After all the distortions we have seen by the left regarding current Justices like Scalia and Thomas, and other judicial candidates like Priscilla Owen and Miguel Estrada, I really thought an Alito confirmation would be an uphill battle.
But I’m starting to think we have the same situation we had with Justice Roberts: a lot of talk, plenty of cynical distortion of his record — but in the end, no real opposition to speak of.
This conclusion seems to be cemented by this morning’s fair L.A. Times article on Alito, titled Alito’s Record Defies Labels. It is not the first fair article the paper has run on Alito. Today’s article is further evidence that the left lacks any principled basis for opposing Alito. It begins:
For the second time in three tries, President Bush has found a Supreme Court nominee who does not present an easy target for Senate Democrats.
Although liberal activists are portraying Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as a right-wing extremist, his 15 years’ worth of legal opinions do not promise fealty to any ideology. Though many of his rulings favor business or prosecutors, they are often narrow — and a sizable number cut the other way.
Accordingly, Democrats in the Senate are cautious, and there is little or no talk of a filibuster.
The article even gives balanced explanations of three of Judge Alito’s most criticized decisions: the Casey dissent, the machine gun case, and the case of the strip-searched 10-year-old.
In the discussion of spousal notification, I’d have preferred to see a more explicit reference to the applicable exceptions — but the article does say that the law only “generally” required notification, which gives readers some notice that there must have been exceptions.
The machine gun case is fairly explained as an application of Lopez, a Supreme Court decision that (the article notes) was joined by Justice O’Connor. And the strip-search case is properly described as a dispute over the scope of a search warrant.
I think the L.A. Times is trying to put me out of business. There’s really no major distortion in the article to criticize.
Either the L.A. Times has suddenly gotten fair, or the left has decided that Judge Alito’s nomination really can’t be beat, or both. Either way, there’s I think Judge Alito’s nomination is looking pretty good right about now.
Here we bloggers were all suited up, ready to enter the game and do battle — but instead, we’re pretty much just standing on the sidelines, looking at each other and shrugging our shoulders. The game, it appears, will easily be won without us.
At least that’s how it looks now.