Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Epstein on Opposition to Alito

Richard Epstein, who would certainly be on my short list of supreme court nominees if I was President, has written an interesting essay evaluating the arguments against confirming Samuel Alito so far. This was written before the conflict of interest stuff came out, so it’s based only on his judicial record. I generally agree with his arguments. There is nothing so far to justify voting against him.

Comments

  1. #1 Treban
    November 13, 2005

    I have been working too much lately to keep track of these conflict of interest arguments but at risk of sounding like that loathesome ass Rush, I have the impression that they are cries of desperation from left wingnuts and those who object just because Bush nominated him. Like Roberts, he certainly wouldn’t be my first pick, personaly being a bit left leaning on most issues, but we don’t have a left leaning president – we have Bush. Ultimately, while a persons past does have some bearing, I have gotten the impression that being on the bench – especialy the supreme court, forces an almost evolutionary maturing. I sincerly doubt Alito will be the same Judge he is today in ten years if he is confirmed. Indeed, by many accounts, he could very well fill the role of a swing voter right away. As I understand it, and I am far from a nuanced understanding of law, the most important quality in a justice is the ability to be objective – the more I learn about him the more he appears to be legit. I think the biggest problem with commentators going off one way or the other about supreme court nominees is that 99% of us – meaning me and others, not you Mr. Brayton – is that we don’t know nearly enough about law to judge the abilities and even the rulings of a candidate. We are forced to let others tell us what the opinions a judge has written mean, what a judge realy is ruling on – in short we haven’t the context to say whether this judge or that is turly objective. Unfortunately, most of those commentators we listen to are far from competent in this regard either – nor I fear are many senators. And for god’s sake, taking a poll of ordinary Americans on their opinions of a judicial nominee is like taking a poll of those same peoples opinions on who should be the next head of nuclear medicine at John Hopkins.

  2. #2 spyder
    November 13, 2005

    -possible satire alert-
    “And for god’s sake, taking a poll of ordinary Americans on their opinions of a judicial nominee is like taking a poll of those same peoples opinions on who should be the next head of nuclear medicine at John Hopkins”

    I am not sure what Treban is suggesting, but most of us who take our role and responsibility as citizens more seriously than others, actually vote on judges in local, regional, and state elections. These votes require citizens to become informed–albeit with less sophistication than those whose vocations are to involve themselves in legal review–about judges, how they rule, what their temperment is from the bench as so forth. If your statement were true, i suppose we should abrogate our responsiblities and just let those with proper expertise appoint our judges for us. It would certainly free up some time during the election cycles, as the efforts to evaluate and analyze judges is the hardest of all the aspects of voting responsibly.

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