The Week Ahead: Judge Alito’s Hearings Begin

By January 9, 2006Judicial Nominations

This week, theater season continues in Washington with the start of Judge Alito’s confirmation hearings. Way back in July, in the run-up to Judge (now Chief Justice) Roberts’ hearings, we ran a piece called, “The Post Gets It Right, And Wrong“. We applauded the Washington Post editorial writers for a neat editorial they did called, “Not a Campaign“, reminding all parties involved in the Roberts hearings that this was not a political campaign, it was a confirmation hearing — and they urged all to dispense with the smears and name-calling. However, on the other pages of the Post were the smears and name-calling.

Well, here we go again. In today’s Post is a story by Chuck Babington entitled, “Democrats Ready to Go After Alito”. Ick. At times it seems we are witnessing the decline of Western Civilization. We didn’t used to “go after” anyone. We used to have calm and sensible hearings. And, you don’t have to reach back to ancient history either. Justice Ginsburg’s hearings lasted a total of 17 hours and she was confirmed by a vote of 96-3. Justice Breyer’s hearings lasted exactly one hour longer and he was confirmed by a vote of 87-9.

We want to remind folks that it’s not nice to “go after” anyone. Fair questions are, well, fair, but this new style of Inquisition borders on the obscene.

Please drop a note to your Senators and urge them to support Judge Alito’s nomination and urge them to get on with it, to move it to an up-or-down vote.