Alito may be the worst choice
By Robert Kuttner | January 8, 2006

AT THIS moment in American history, it would be hard to find a worse Supreme Court nominee than Samuel A. Alito Jr. His ideology captures everything extremist about the Bush administration. If confirmed, Alito would serve as Bush’s enabler. He would give Bush effective control of all three branches of government and the hard-right long-term dominance of the high court. His confirmation or rejection will depend on the gumption of the Senate Democratic leadership and independence of a few Republicans.

Alito, who would replace the moderate Sandra Day O’Connor, has never hidden his ultra-conservative views. Given the administration claims of an extra-legal presidency, what’s most disturbing is the handy convergence of Alito’s own conception of executive power and that of Bush.

Citing the wartime powers of the president, Bush has asserted his right to ignore the legislative mandate of Congress in allowing the military to torture prisoners, the government’s prerogative to spy on Americans without a court warrant, to treat not just foreigners but US citizens as ”illegal enemy combatants” who lose the constitutional rights of criminal defendants, and to incarcerate such persons indefinitely. Soon, some prisoners at Guantanamo will have been behind bars longer than any German POW during all of World War II.

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