Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Alito: Beware The Elements In The Atmosphere!

My "WTF????" moment came, while reading the transcript of today's Alito hearings, when I hit this part of the transcript:

KOHL: Judge Alito, you stated in that same job application that one element of the conservative philosophy that you believed, quote, "very strongly," was the, quote, "legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values," unquote.


KOHL: What traditional values were you referring to? And who decides what is a, quote, "traditional value"?


ALITO: Well, again, I'm trying to remember what I thought about that 20 years ago, and I'm trying to reconstruct it.


I think a traditional value that I probably had in mind was the ability to live in peace and safety in your neighborhood. And that was a big issue during the time of the Warren court. And it was still a big issue in 1985 when I wrote that statement, because that was a time of very high crime rates. I think that's a traditional value.


I think the ability of people to raise a family and raise their children in accordance with their own beliefs is a traditional value.


I think the ability to raise children in a way that they're not only subjected to -- they're spared physical threats, but also psychological threats that can come from elements in the atmosphere, is a traditional value.

I think that the ability to practice your own conscience is a traditional value.


That's the best I can reconstruct it now, thinking back to 1985.


KOHL: Very good.

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Very good? What do you mean very good??? Why didn't you ask him what the hell he meant by "psychological threats that can come from elements in the atmosphere"???


You mean, like, being near gay people can give you cooties? What the HELL does it mean?

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On a lighter note, there was Alito's introduction of the "superduper precedent" lingo, followed by this dialogue:

SPECTER: Judge Alito, during the confirmation hearing of Chief Justice Roberts, I displayed a chart. I don't ordinarily like charts but this one I think has a lot of weight because it lists all 38 cases which have been decided since Roe where the Supreme Court of the United States had the opportunity to -- Senator Hatch is in the picture now.

(LAUGHTER)


It's a good photo op for Senator Hatch. Senator Leahy's complaining...


(LAUGHTER)


LEAHY: We can just balance it on Orrin's head.


(LAUGHTER)


SPECTER: Well, I think the point of it is that there have been so many cases, so many cases: 15 after your statement in 1985 that I'm about to come to, and eight after Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which is why it has a special significance.


SPECTER: And I'm not going to press the point about super- precedent. I'm glad I didn't have to mention super-duper; that you did.


(LAUGHTER)


Thank you very much.

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On a more serious note, Schumer really laid into Alito, asking him over and over again not to dodge the abortion question, but Alito dodged and dodged and dodged and it was a great showdown.


We're so fucked.

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