Ben noted one of the comments from the Big Three below, but two out of three of them gave us good soundbites that point to the fact that Judge Alito is extremely well-qualified (including this: “Alito was unanimously[!] confirmed by the U.S. Senate[!] to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.”). (Plus, good ones from Kate Michelman and Ralph Neas.)
Rather than selecting a nominee for the good of the nation and the court, President Bush has picked a nominee whom he hopes will stop the massive hemorrhaging of support on his right wing. This is a nomination based on weakness, not strength. — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.
It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O’Connor, who would unify us. This controversial nominee, who would make the court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people. — Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
President Bush put the demands of his far-right political base above Americans’ constitutional rights and legal protections by nominating federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. — Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People For the American Way.
Now the gauntlet has been, I think, thrown down. It was humiliating, it was degrading and it’s a profound and distributing view of Judge Alito that he would uphold spousal notification as he did in the Pennsylvania case, and it raises concerns about his views of women. — Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL-Pro Choice America.
[Presumably that was “disturbing” and not “distributing”; but, who knows? Anything’s possible from NARAL.]
Wow, Kate takes things personally! It was “humiliating” and “degrading” for Pres. Bush to pick Alito. She acts as if Alito raped her and then wouldn’t give her an abortion! Get over yourself.
And then there’s Sen. Leahy:
This is a needlessly provocative nomination. Instead of uniting the country through his choice, the president has chosen to reward one faction of his party at the risk of dividing the country.
All I can say is that if these people are upset, there is much to be happy about with this nomination. It is to be hoped that Alito makes Schumer et al. look as ridiculous as Roberts made them look. One question: why in the world did the President not nominate this man in the first place?