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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's Gonna be a Bloody Fight

The long-anticipated fight between the liberals and the conservatives is about to break loose, and it's likely to be loud, emotional, and absolutely divisive. It's also been years in the making. As Charles Lane of the Washington Post wrote:

With this nomination, Bush is saying 'Bring it on!' " said John C. Yoo, a former Bush administration Justice Department official. "There is no effort to evade a clash with Senate Democrats. That's why conservatives are so happy."
Since political analysis is not my forte, I have to look at the Supreme Court nomination(s) from my usual personal perspective. (Maybe now would be a good time to mention that I am neither on the far right or left. In fact, I’m not a Republican or a Democrat at all.)

Life (and elections) would likely be less labor-intensive if I were, I suppose. I almost envy the blinkered and blindered sheep who vote the “straight ticket” without any thought. I have to spend weeks preparing for major elections, reading and discussing everything to reach a conclusion.

Having said all that, I am now stuck trying to understand the effect Judge Samuel Alito Jr. could have on my life, and the lives of my children's children. Probably my biggest objection (like many folks) with Alito centers up on abortion rights.

In 1991, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. voted to uphold a Pennsylvania statute that would have required at least some married women to notify their husbands before getting an abortion
In all honesty, if a married woman is considering an abortion and is not talking to her husband about it already, the marriage is probably already having "problems". Any requirement that a woman “notify” her husband before an abortion strikes me as either a “Lord and Master” requirement (WAY too Old Testament for me), or disgustingly paternalistic. Either way, reprehensibly offensive.

Beyond this specific ruling, though, I don’t find myself in violent disagreement with Alito’s nomination - and mild opposition doesn't make me want to join the fight (at least so far). He does not appear to be "hell bent for leather" on overturning Roe v Wade, for instance. (That would be a real problem.)

The differences in judicial philosophy between Alito and O'Connor are not absolute. He has not flatly written that Roe v. Wade , the Supreme Court's 1973 abortion rights ruling, should be overturned -- as have some other conservatives who were thought to be on Bush's list for the court.
He and O’Connor differed on several other interpretations, but not to the point of complete polarization. Given the options, it could be much worse; Miers actually worried me more. I really don’t want someone’s religious convictions interpreting the Constitution on my behalf, thanks anyway.

Since the battle will be carried out in public, and I’m okay overall with either the confirmation or denial of his appointment, I think I’ll just grab some metaphorical popcorn and sit back to watch the show. Professional wrestling will seem tame in comparison.