Final Thoughts on Alito

As I watched the final minutes of debate today before the final confirmation vote on Samuel Alito, I listened to some of the arguments presented by Senate minority leader, Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

The thought occurred to me as I listened, “I wonder how many senators actually have their vote swayed by the comments made on the floor of the Senate?” Not being a Washington insider, I can only surmise that most decisions are made in the halls or offices of the legislators rather than in chamber.

What then is the importance of debate? Is it an opportunity for posturing, campaigning or taking shots at the opposing party? If often seems so. Now, I am aware that some of the greatest speeches in our nation’s history have occurred in this chamber, I am not denying the value of debate, it is one of the cornerstones of democracy. But as I listened to Sen. Reid, it seemed that his comments were more of a campaigning nature than they were argumentive.

He repeatedly referred to Justice Alito as one who favored government and big business over the “little guy”. He cited several cases (unfamiliar to most Americans including myself) in which Alito had ruled on the side of corporations and government. Is this always a bad thing? Should one naturally have an advantage in a lawsuit just because he is an individual facing corporate bigwigs or Uncle Sam? Or should the merits of each case be decided in the light of the law that is on the books?

A judge’s responsibility is to interpret the law. He is not to advance a personal agenda. He is not to represent the interests of a particular group of people. Having said that, judges are human, as unbiased as they try to be, their political point of view may often influence the way they interpret the law. Sen. Reid made a statement to this effect, “The American people deserve a justice who will represent their values.” He is right. That is why the American people have elected conservative executive and legislative branches of government. If the Democrats want liberal justices, they need to start winning some elections. It is the height of naivete on their part to lose the majority of elections and still hope to be able to control the governmental process.

Sen. Reid, as well as many other Democrats, repeatedly expressed concerns that to confirm Alito would cause an ideological shift to the right in the Supreme Court. I think their greatest concern is that a court that had been favoring many of their ideals for a number of years now may be leaning the other way. Only time will tell whether or not this is actually true.

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9 responses to “Final Thoughts on Alito

  1. My Thundermentalist input

    May Mr Alito do this:

    Be the minsiter of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God. a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    I say this because the moment the Lord gives a country over to it’s own deceitful ways and punishment for evil does not come quickly. Then know that this country is storing up greater wrath to come.

  2. it does seem as if more and more judges are “making” the laws rather than simply interpreting them.

    and, yes, as i’ve been involved with politics and seen the “inside” of state politics, you are right on when you say very few votes are actually persuaded by those grand speeches! the lobbyists who work behind the scenes and fellow senators are the ones who are responsible for most votes. oh, and “party lines” do have their influence as well!

  3. I loved that verse from I John 1:3 Re: Know Christ By His Spirit
    Thanks Gordon

  4. Good post on alito and the political process. Since i agree with everything you said i don’t know what else to say, lol.

  5. Dorothy, thanks for stopping by. It’s always nice to meet someone of like mind!

  6. Dingy Harry is just so predictable. I am glad it is over.

  7. I mean Dingey, where the “g” has a “j” sound!

    (It is a Limbaughism, just in case you didn’t know)

  8. Rose, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the linguistics lesson from the Limbaugh Institute of Politically Incorrect Speech. (Isn’t he a hoot?)

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