‘Senate to Vote on Alito Today’

By January 31, 2006Health Care, Judicial Nominations

Under that headline is a front page story in the Washington Post today about the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the Senate beat back a (frankly) wimpy and last-minute effort by erstwhile Presidential candidate Sen. Kerry (D-MA) to force a filibuster on Judge Alito’s nomination. This in spite of knowing that he lacked the votes to do so. He was, in essence, trying to take his ball and go home. He failed. The cloture vote wasn’t even close, with a final vote of 72-25. Ouch. Here’s a link to see how your Senators voted. His nomination now goes to the floor where hopefully there will be no further mischief, only a vote.

Some interesting statistics for you to ponder:

The average time from the President’s nomination until confirmation for the last few Justices was 68 days. For Judge Alito — if he’s confirmed today — it is 92 days.

The time from the President’s announcement of the nomination to the start of the hearings in Justice Rehnquist case was 13 days. For Ruth Bader Ginsburg it was 26 days, for John Roberts 55 days and for Judge Alito, 70 days.

No nominee was “held over” in Committee since 1971. Judge Alito was held over for a week, a simple delaying tactic.

This man has been subjected to grueling questioning and bitter partisan barbs. Republicans confirmed the former General Counsel of the ACLU, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, without a fight, because it was seen as the President’s prerogative. Ah, the days of yore.

Hundreds of you have weighed in through this blog to urge your Senators to vote, with a bunch doing so in the last week. We are down to the short strokes. Please tell your Senators to get on with it. Legal reform begins at the top.