Notes on the Alito Hearings:
Stephen Bainbridge offers his take on the Alito hearings:
After catching up on the first day of the Alito hearings, one conclusion seems inescapable; namely, that Alito is more machine now than man; twisted and evil. He yearns to take liberals, women, minorities, gays, small children, and puppies to the Dune Sea, and cast them into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlaac, in whose belly they will find a new definition of pain and suffering as they are slowly digested over a thousand years. (Or maybe it's the slavering maw of Cthulhu the Great. I zoned out for awhile during Durbin's opening remarks.)Heh. Seriously, though, I've caught about two hours of the testimony today, and based on what I heard I think Alito is doing very well. His delivery style is a bit nervous, and he lacks the Roberts instinct to say soothing things to address a questioner's concerns. But on the substance, Alito seems to be significantly more forthcoming than Roberts, and he is offering solid defenses of his prior decisions. Further, he has distanced himself from the Article II authority claims that the Senators are worried about in light of the NSA's domestic surveillance program. As Kevin Drum notes, these kinds of answers "[don't] give liberals much of a purchase to lead a battle against his nomination."