Last week, the right forced President Bush to withdraw Harriett Miers as his nominee to the Supreme Court.
And, as I predicted that day, he has nominated a radical conservative to the court. Samuel Alito, who once clerked for Antonin Scalia and shares the same general philosophy as his mentor, has been named as the replacement for Justice O'Connor.
This is the nomination that Democrats should filibuster. They did not filibuster John Roberts. They had no intention of filibustering Harriet Miers.
However, Alito, who has frequently been the lone dissenter on the circuit court he is on in Pennsylvania, is not John Roberts, who can be expected to listen to the arguments presented or Harriet Miers. He is instead an ideologue. A justice who, despite his low key approach and quiet demeanor, is likely to approach cases with a predetermined view, and unlikely to change it. As for what a few of those views are, just take a look at the record.
In Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1991), Alito was the only dissenter in a case that, among other things, threw out a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to notify their husbands.
We have also seen that he has ruled consistently in directions that are way out of touch with the American mainstream.
In the 1997 case, Bray vs. Marriott Hotel for example, we find that
Alito dissented from a decision in favor of a Marriott Hotel manager who said she had been discriminated against on the basis of race. The majority explained that Alito would have protected racist employers by “immuniz[ing] an employer from the reach of Title VII if the employer’s belief that it had selected the ‘best’ candidate was the result of conscious racial bias.” [Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 1997]
So according to the majority on the court, Alito apparently explained to them that even if open racism were used to help select a candidate, it was still the perogative of the employer to do so. Hmmm. With Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court, it will be possible for segregationists to employ CONSCIOUS racial bias in hiring. Any decision like that will be as bad as the Dred Scott decision, and turn the clock back to the 1950's.