The president’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Samuel Alito, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The vote was split, basically along party lines. The matter will now come before the Senate where it appears that Alito has a preliminary commitment of enough votes to be confirmed.
I respect our political system. I realize that it is flawed along with every person involved in it, but I would still live under our form of government than anywhere else. This is not to denigrate any other nation’s governmental process, you just have to understand, I am a little biased in this case.
While I respect our system, I resent those who would use the system in a less-than-ethical manner to play partisan politics or to take shots at the office of the President. Regardless of which party you are affiliated with, it seems that some of this goes on from both sides of the aisle.
Let me say at this point, this is not an attempt to lobby for the confirmation of Alito. I was able to hear very little of the committee proceedings and cannot tell you a great deal about what the man believes.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) expressed concern that the President would nominate such a “divisive” candidate. He stated that there were, “many, many, people in this country who would have received 90 to 100” senatorial votes. Really? I challenge him to name one person that is so fully acceptable to the likes of John Kerry and Edward Kennedy that they would be supported by the Rick Santorums of the chamber.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Delaware) did not like Alito’s answer on the equality of powers between the legislative and judicial branches. He called it a “Bad answer”. He indicated that he did not think it appropriate that Alito believed the power of the Supreme Court to be equal to that of Congress. This smacks of elitism and arrogance. In my limited understanding of the Constitution, I have come to understand that the founding fathers wished for three equal branches of government to serve as checks and balances against each other. The primary duty of the Supreme Court is to determine if legislated mandate is in agreement with the Constitution. If Sen. Biden is resentful of the Supreme Courts right to check Congress, it makes you wonder how he would feel about checks against executive powers were he elected president. (And those checks are vitally important.)
Perhaps I am being too idealistic, I just wish our elected officials would vote their conscience (even if it differs from mine) and not the party line.