By: E&P Staff
Although it has opposed the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito Jr. to the U.S. Supreme, it was by no means certain the The New York Times would take the strong step it announced on its editorial page on Friday: challenging the Democrats to launch a filbuster on the matter when a vote nears next week.
“A filibuster is a radical tool,” the editorial admitted. “It’s easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.”
The Times said that Alito’s entire history “suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress… His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation’s basic philosophy of government ? and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.
“It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public’s attention to the import of this nomination.
“The Alito nomination has been discussed largely in the context of his opposition to abortion rights, and if the hearings provided any serious insight at all into the nominee’s intentions, it was that he has never changed his early convictions on that point….
“But portraying the Alito nomination as just another volley in the culture wars vastly underestimates its significance. The judge’s record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else. “
A new Gallup poll, completed earlier this week and announced Tuesday, finds American adults backing Judge Samuel Alito’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court by 54% to 30% with the rest undecided. But asked if they became convinced that Alito would overturn Roe v. Wade, opinions dramatically shift: from 54% to 30% in favor of his confirmation to 56% to 34% against.