October 31, 2005
Alito picked to replace O'Connor
Bush tried the whole "go outside the federal judiciary," "don't nominate a white male" thing once, and that didn't go so well for him. So we're back to a well-trodden path. Alito was the US attorney in New Jersey, and has been on the Third Circuit for 15 years.
Alito's most famous vote was in the case that eventually became the Supreme Court's hugely important Planned Parenthood v. Casey - Alito voted to uphold Pennsylvania's restrictive abortion law in its entirety (ultimately, the Supreme Court upheld most of the law but struck down the spousal notification part of it). But with 15 years on the court of appeals, there is a very large body of work to be pored over in the coming weeks.
Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has already made loud noises against Alito, and an attempted Democratic filibuster is considered a possibility at this stage. That's going to be tough to sustain, IMHO - Alito will most likely be an impressive nominee who will do as well as Roberts did at his confirmation hearings. We'll see. The righties, incidentally, are quite pleased with this nomination.
Bush's announcement is expected at 8 a.m. Much more to come, of course.
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