October 31, 2005

What's worse than one Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court?

Two of them.

Dubya threw his expected sop to his hard-right base today as he nominated Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court chair being vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor. Alito's judicial views so frequently match those of right-wing justice Antonin Scalia that he has been called 'Scalito' by his critics.

You can pretty much guess how Dubya's choice of Alito has been received: Right-wing Republicans are pleased; liberal Democrats are outraged.

"This is a needlessly provocative nomination," said Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel that will consider Alito's 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," Leahy said.

The nomination raised the possibility of an effort to filibuster, or block, Alito by Senate Democrats, who said his confirmation could put at risk the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

You can count this magpie among the outraged, too. Dubya's nomination of Alito is obviously a response to the continuing political problems faced by the White House. The prez has decided that what he needs to do is firm up his base and — hopefully — unite Republicans around a nominee that they all can support, unlike the situation with the disastrous nomination of Harriet Miers.

In an earlier post at Magpie about Scooter Libby's resignation after his Plamegate indictement, we suggested that Dubya's administration wouldn't be sacrificing any of its right-wing agenda in order to deal with its political troubles. Instead, we suggested that the administration would dig in its heels and start giving the country a stronger dose of right-wing governance than it's seen so far during the Dubya years. Today's nomination of Alito fits that scenario really well.

Via Reuters.

More: You'll find a good short profile of Samuel Alito here.

Posted by Magpie at October 31, 2005 01:29 PM | US News | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |