I watched the Senate Judiciary committee's hearings on Judge Samuel Alito. He was cool, composed, and spoke very intelligently. He obviously understood the legal process, and very clearly seemed to have a great knowledge of the constitution. As several of the left-wing senators on the committee continued to hurl rancid accusations at him, Alito did not waver, and addressed the questions calmly (even as Chucky Schumer fumed and frothed at the mouth while delivering his "question," framed so eloquently as the rant of an extremist). Yet, just a short time after the hearings, Senate democrats are coming out in stark opposition to the well qualified nominee.
Although an opposition vote is certainly their prerogative, I have not heard a single, justifiable reason for these votes. There are several democratic talking points that have been given: 'Alito will yield excessive power to the President', 'He will overturn Roe v. Wade', 'He will take America backwards', and 'he will weaken civil rights'. Yet, despite the hype, no Senator, anti-confirmation advertisement, or left-wing pundit has provided evidence of any of these concerns.
Arguably the most heated of these issues is the 'sanctity' of abortion, something Sen. Feinstein says "women have come to rely on" (certainly a noble right). It is no doubt that Judge Alito has a personal opposition to abortion, but that is meaningless. Nominees are entitled to whatever personal beliefs they wish, as long as they are capable of separating these views from their decisions on the court. Certainly, in 1993 Judge Ginsburg had strong personal opinions about abortion rights, yet she was confirmed 98-0.
The various other talking points, as far as I am concerned, were only adopted by Liberals to dilute their argument, to spread the focus from their failed argument over Alito's views on abortion. As senator after senator accused Alito of being a racist and/or a sexist, there came virtually no evidence in support of these accusations. Even after the hypocritical Sen. Ted Kennedy, who has been a donating member of a racist Harvard alumni organization (The Owl Club) for twenty years, threw a tantrum to get a subpoena for records of CAP, nothing even remotely linking Alito could be found. Furthermore, various cases were brought up by the liberal senators in which Alito was the only dissenter. This was supposed to be presented as if his position were one of racism, sexism, or one against other civil liberties. Yet, time and again Alito referred them to those who concurred with his opinion, including the Supreme court, and often citing Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as presenting a similar opinion.
It is difficult to claim that a nominee with the unanimous support of the American Bar Association, as well as the overwhelming bipartisan support from his colleagues and past clerks, the decision to vote against Alito is ridiculous, and clearly motivated by politics.