Monday, January 16, 2006

Some comments on the hearing

Though Alito's record, demeanor and reputation bespeak of an extraordinarily humble, decent, ethical and scholarly man, senators Kennedy, Schumer and Co. have strained to convince us he is an unethical rogue, among other things.

Aside from their pathetic attempts to taint him with the now familiar Vanguard, Concerned Alumni of Princeton and 10-year-old strip-searching red herrings, Alito's circumspection over the abortion question drives them batty. It really frosts them that — in the words of Saint Theodore — "He didn't back away one inch from his (1985) statement that a woman's right to make her own reproductive decision is not protected under the Constitution."

Sen. Chuck Schumer was similarly exasperated, pressing Alito on how he could answer without hesitation that the right to free speech is in the Constitution but demur on whether the "right to choose" is.

I often wonder whether, with intellectual honesty, one can believe that abortion and freedom of speach are equally regarded in the Constitution, or whether one must be acting in bad faith. The presumption should be towards good faith and bad reason, as that's usually what ends up happening with me :-). But I often wonder.

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