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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sucker's bet

From Senator Lieberman's interview with Fairfield Weekly, here is the pro-choice senator discussing his views on Supremem Court nominee Samuel Alito

When the United States Senate reconvenes later this month, the first order of business will be the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings. Lieberman, who voted in support of John Roberts, says he is reserving judgment until after the Judiciary Committee holds its hearings. "I met with [Alito] fairly early in the process," the senator told us, early in our interview. "Prior to that meeting, I read four or five of his opinions that were described to me as his most controversial. In each of them he reaches quite a conservative conclusion. It was my experience that there is not the ideological fervor coming off the page as you find very often in Scalia opinions, or even Thomas, but particularly Scalia. They were very legalistic but nevertheless quite conservative."

Still, Lieberman said that additional information that's come out of late regarding Alito's views on abortion, affirmative action and reapportionment is "troubling. [Those views] certainly appear on their face to be personal expressions of opinion about personal goals, such as the limiting of affirmative action case law and the overturning of Roe v. Wade . Both obviously I'm on the other side of where he expressed his opinion.

"Put me down as, that based on those personal opinions that came out . . . that I find them troubling. I know some of my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee find them troubling, and I expect that they'll be topics of some considerable questioning at the hearings in January."

And any question regarding a filibuster must also wait until after the Judiciary Committee hearings, says Lieberman, a proud member of the so-called "Gang of Fourteen," a bipartisan group of senators that hammered out a compromised deal to break a log jam over judicial nominees earlier this year.

Prediction: The Democrats wring their hands for a few weeks over Alito, and then vote to confirm him. Lieberman votes aye. Prove me wrong, senator, and lunch is on me, at a diner of your choosing.
I get the feeling that the guys at the Weekly won't have to worry about picking up Lieberman's lunch tab. The Senate Judiciary hearing has come and gone and although Senator Chris Dodd knows which way he is going to vote (and why), Lieberman (who found Alito's views "troubling" and said he's holding judgement until after the hearings) is predictably quiet.

From the Hartford Courant
Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd said today that he will vote against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito because his judicial philosophy is "outside the mainstream."

Dodd's decision came hours after the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved Alito on a party-line vote. The panel's 10 Republicans supported Alito while the eight Democratic members opposed him.

[...]

"In Judge Alito's America, the president would act with radical new powers - unchecked by either the Congress or the courts as envisioned by the framers of our Constitution," Dodd, D-Conn., said in a statement.

Dodd expressed concern that Alito would seek to overturn the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision.

"The right to privacy would be in jeopardy because he has said that he opposes Roe v. Wade," the senator said.


[...]

Connecticut's other Democratic senator, Joe Lieberman, has not said how he will vote on Alito.


Like I said, I think this is a sucker's bet. Although I feel that Fairfield Weekly's prediction is correct, I also believe that a yea vote from Lieberman can turn out ot be a good thing for those who want give the senator the boot. Lieberman would cast a no vote is because he knows that a yea vote for Alito will further enrage liberals in Connecticut who are already upset with him. Lieberman casting a yea vote will increase the rift between Lieberman and the liberals and possibly anger women in the state (which would be a HUGE PROBLEM). The last thing Lieberman want is to anger the women in the state and give them a reason to hear what Ned Lamont has to say.

The anti-war and pro-choice crowd in Connecticut joining forces would be Lieberman's nightmare.