Friday, January 06, 2006

Baptist Joint Committee on Alito

The Baptist Joint Committe has published an evaluation of supreme court nominee Samuel Alito's history on church/state issues. You can read the article by clicking here.

2 comments:

Eric said...

It seems to me that the BJC is a little too concerned with how closely Alito is aligned with the views of retiring Justice O'Connor. The confirmation process is not supposed to compare the candidate to other justices or, as the article once states, "the majority opinions of the Court." It is supposed to determine if the candidate is qualified to rule on Constitutional matters and, by doing so, uphold the Constitution itself. A disparity of opinions is a good thing to me.

It is an interesting question to me how the Court handles cases in which the First Amendment is positioned against itself; namely, what should come first when the Free Speech clause is measured against and in opposition to the Free Exercise clause? Many of the cases the BJC mentions appear to be that kind of case, so it's easy to understand why his record appears inconsistent.

Gil Gulick said...

I think any good commentary on Judge Alito has to comment on how he compares to Justice O'Connor since that is who he is replacing. It is even more important in this case because Justice O'Connor was often the swing vote in important cases. The BJC sees part of their job as educating the public, and telling them how Judge Alito will change the court is very important, in my opinion.

We both know the process is more political than you make it out to be, on either side. If a Democrat was in office right now, and someone with the same beliefs as Justice Ginsburg was nominated, the republicans would be making the same comparisons. It is very important to study the history of his decisions to ensure that he makes decisions based on the specifics of the case and the laws involved, not his personal opinion on what the outcome should be. In his opening statement, Judge Alito himself said how important this is. So, it is up to the senators to determine, through the history of his decisions, if he actually does this, or only says he does this.