The formal Senate hearings have yet to begin, and Samuel Alito is already ringing alarm bells. Every time he is posed with a controversial question, he tries to wiggle away from it, indicating either he doesn't know what he thinks, he's completely changed his beliefs, or he has no integrity and will say anything to try to get Senate approval. Given the character, or lack thereof, of the current White House occupants, Alito's behavior seems to fit right in, evoking distrust--to say the least.
Red flags are everywhere:
• Lack of integrity: he pledged to Congress in 1990 to step aside from a case involving the investment firm Vanguard (due to a conflict of interest) and then proceeded in 2002 to participate in the case.
• Dishonesty: He made a statement that he"did not recall his membership in a controversial conservative Princeton alumni group until recently seeing a document."
• Lack of integrity & Dishonesty: A recently discovered 1985 Reagan administration legal brief sought the reversal of a landmark abortion rights case. The material was not sent to the Senate along with other records.
• What ELSE don't we know that he conveniently forgot?
"'A credibility gap is emerging with each new piece of information released on Judge Alito's record,' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is to begin confirmation hearings on Jan. 9.
"He bears an especially heavy burden at the hearings in January to explain the growing number of discrepancies between his current statements and his past actions,' said Kennedy, D-Mass."
Explaining his most controversial statement--that he did not believe the right to an abortion was protected under the constitution--he said (via Arlen Spector) that was his "personal" view and it would not affect his rulings on Roe. Say what? Does this guy think we are all a bunch of morons? No, of course not, they're all in the White House.
*Alito Distances Himself From 1985 Memos by Charles Babington, Washington Post
*Chicago Tribune | Alito Critics Cite Inconsistencies by David Espo
For Alito, a Tricky Question of Statements vs. Thoughts By Charles Lane, Washington Post
PHOTO: President Bush introduces Samuel Alito as his nominee to replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
(AFP / Getty Images Photo)