Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito Nomination

Bush today appointed Federal Court of Appeals Judge for the Third Circuit Samuel Alito to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor. I love the pick. I think it is a fiendishly sly move. In fact, I wonder if there isn't a possibility that Bush et. al. didn't orchestrate the Miers' nomination with an aim at a withdrawal or Senatorial fillibuster. Though this claim will never be capable of verification, my reasons for the thought are thus:

First, Democrats' outspoken opposition to Federal Court judges earlier in Bush's term wasted political capital. The spoils of the presidency have always been nominations. Dems can only so long play the "we disagree with judicial philosophy of this President, we're going to take a stand!" drum.

Second, Bush has remedied the flaws articulated about the Miers candidacy. Alito is very experienced with the Federal Judicial System. He has spent a career of working for the Solicitor's general office and as a Federal Appellate Judge (15 yrs on the bench). His pedigree academically and otherwise is top notch.

Third, Alito is the third SCOTUS candidate that Dems have immediately attempted to rally against (See Ted Kennedy's statement today). Roberts because he was too young, too inexperienced on the bench, too conservative, and an unknown quantity, as most of his written work was for the earlier administrations and therefore reflected his professional obligation to a client (the White House), rather than independent judgments. Miers was opposed because under-qualified educationally and otherwise, unkown for views independent of working for Governor, now-President Bush and other insitutional clients, had no experience as a judge, and was a suspected Roe v. Wade-basher.

Enter Alito: the "too-conservative" cry cannot stand in light of the sequence that yielded his nomination. By most accounts on the Volokh Conspiracy and elsewhere among centrist academics, Alito is another judge fashioned from a Robertsonian cloth. If this was all engineered by the Bush administration, this pick is even more brillant than the Roberts nomination!

Bush has satisfied me that his campaign promise to the base was in fact met. The holy outrage over Miers has passed. An egg-shell walking contest looms for the Democratic party.