Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Judge Alito, Fanatical Moderate

Based on his record, Judge Alito is a perfectly moderate candidate for SCOTUS, so it's hard to see why the right is painting him as a tough conservative and the Dems as the devil incarnate.

Here are the judgments he's made that the WSJ (subscription) believes qualify him as a strong conservative.

One case we'll be hearing a lot about is ACLU v. Schundler. Here Judge Alito carefully balanced two Supreme Court precedents to uphold a holiday display in Jersey City that included "not only a crèche, a menorah, and Christmas tree, but also large plastic figures of Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman, a red sled, and Kwanzaa symbols."

Not sure Frosty is right wing, and then there's beardgate:

Judge Alito has also...ruled against the Newark police department for preventing Sunni Muslim officers from wearing beards.

No much fundamentalist christianity here.

He's also a believer in federalism and putting some limits on the Commerce Clause -- as seen in his Rybar dissent, where he cited Lopez to say Congress lacks the authority to regulate intra-state possession of machine guns.

So he believes in Federalism when giving a dissenting opinion.

On the abortion litmus test he's gray - it's OK with reasonable restrictions.

...he agreed with a unanimous Third Circuit panel -- upheld by the Supreme Court -- which found that four of Pennsylvania's restrictions on abortion were not an "undue burden" under prior High Court rulings. He was the lone appeals judge to support the law's fifth restriction -- spousal notification -- which the Supreme Court threw out.

If this guy is right wing, I'm a Jacques Chirac.

UPDATE: Adding insult to injury, I misspelled Judge Alito's name & have corrected the error.