Sen. Grassley on Alito

By January 11, 2006Judicial Nominations

Standing in front of us in dark suit and red vest, Sen. Grassley looks over the assembled bloggers and says, “This is a first for me — I’ve never talked to people like you – you look like everybody else…”

Doesn’t seem like the Democrats are getting the traction that you think they might be getting, after reading the news reports from the last few months. It seems the Democrats’ demeanor is a little more reserved, might mean they think they’re fighting [a losing battle]. I met with Alito. Unless there’s a bombshell, he’s going to be confirmed. With this paper trail, we are seeing a person who is sincere, ope-minded, who will wait to see the last fact laid on the table…before he makes a judgment. That’s what judges are supposed to do — they’re supposed to render justice.
His performance before this committee — he’s doing what judges are supposed to do. You want someone on the bench who will be open-minded, based upon our system of laws.

The role of the Senate — expressed by Hamilton in Federalist 78 — is to make sure that incompetent people are not appointed and that no political hacks get on the court. [Alito] is obviously not a political hack, obviously very competent. I plead that Democrats should give them same deference that we Republicans gave to Ginsburg, the Clinton nominee, who passed 96-0. This in spite of the fact that she worked for the ACLU and the fact that [many of us] disagreed with her political views. I voted for her because I thought I was fulfilling the role of the Senate [not because I agreed with her political views].

Also, the incivility that comes toward an honest, decent, man is “disturbing”. It encourages greater incivility in society. We need to become a more civil society in America. Our social cohesion is based on one individual’s respect for another. Judge Alito should have our respect even if people don’t agree with his opinions. This may be apropriate for a political campaign, but not for a Supreme Court nominee.