Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Senate Judiciary Dems Take Aim at Alito

Senate Democrats issued their first coordinated challenge to Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking extensive records about his participation in a 2002 appeals case despite a six-figure investment with one of the defendants.

In a letter to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the eight Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Alito had promised the panel in 1990 he would ``disqualify myself from any cases involving the Vanguard companies.''

The letter requests the original opinion in the 2002 case, which was unpublished. It also seeks any communication ``from or to the White House, the Justice Department ... or anyone else on their behalf'' concerning Alito's decision to participate in the case, in which a three-judge panel ruled on behalf of Vanguard and other investment firms. The companies had been sued by a widow who claimed she was denied funds originally belonging to her deceased husband.

All well and good, but probably destined for Nowheresville. When I commented last spring that the bar had been set so low for SCOTUS appointees that no one could possibly be judged "extraordinary" compared to the arbitrary kingmakers already seated on the court, I was referring to their right-wing activism. Alas, the current justices have also taken the initiative to reset the bar for ethics so low that Alito's broken commitment won't strike anyone as being anything but "business as usual."

Quack Quack.


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