Democrats & Alito
SLevinson at law.utexas.edu
Thu Jan 12 22:08:33 PST 2006
FWIW, I think the dumbest possible strategy is what the Democrats did with Roberts. If the party decides not to filibuster (which remains my own preferred alternative), then it should be magnanimous in defeat and vote overwhelmingly to confirm Alito. I see no gains to, say, 35 Democrats voting against himi except to signal that the Democrats don't constitute a serious political party. Moreover, if 35 Democrats vote against him, and the ones voting for are viewed simply as wimps, then this licenses Republicans during the next Democratic presidency to try to defeat liberal nominees because they can say, altogether accurately, that the Democrats tried to defeat Alito but simply didn't have the votes. If, on the other hand, Democrats make an ostentatious display of voting for Alito on the grounds that he is, by conventional measures, qualified, then they set a precedent, which may or may not be honored--David Law and I argue in the Richmond Law Review that there is no good reason to believe that it will be honored--when a Democratic president makes a liberal nomination. But the Democrats, of course, have a flair for acting incredibly stupidly, and I don't expect anything better this time around, alas.
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