home

Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis

Knights-Ridder News Service yesterday defended its reporters' analysis of Judge Alito's 311 published opinions:

"During his 15 years on the federal bench, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has worked quietly but resolutely to weave a conservative legal agenda into the fabric of the nation's laws." Assisted by Washington bureau researcher Tish Wells, Henderson and Mintz spent nearly a month reading all of Alito's 311 published opinions, which are available in a commercial database or in the archives of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, where Alito has sat for 15 years.

They concluded that, "although Alito's opinions are rarely written with obvious ideology, he's seldom sided with a criminal defendant, a foreign national facing deportation, an employee alleging discrimination or consumers suing big business."

The original article is here.

< Jose Padilla Denied Bail, Pleads Not Guilty | Alito's Murder Board Coaches >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:45:01 AM EST
    Knight-Ridder isn't considered some wildly lefty newswire, is it? Or it will be soon by certain posters on the site.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:07:41 AM EST
    Dadler - This is the old, "Well, I didn't catch you doing anything but I know how "you people" are. None of us should accept that argument.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:16:32 AM EST
    Jim, Fair enough, to a certain, albeit snide, degree. In a certain sense that's the purpose here, or should be. To examine these candidates, for the HIGHEST court in the land. They won't be examined again in this way, with anything on the line. There should be some heat. Especially with the nominee of a president whose first choice was SOOOOOO unqualified as to be laughable. Righty or lefty. Why not just nominate his valet?

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:37:42 AM EST
    Dadler - I have no problem with any question that has been asked. But some of the claims have been pure BS, and they have been easily exposed. When that happens, the Demos lose. And I learned years ago that attacks on a woman who is crying is just well, totally off the screen.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#5)
    by ras on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:53:34 AM EST
    All this extraneous commentary is just a distraction from the real issue: will the D's filibuster? If they truly believe their own words, then they will, they have to, it's a moral obligation with the very future of freedom at stake. But if they don't fb, they and their supporters confirm that the attacks were never more than trumped-up b.s. by insincere posers. How desperate are they? So desperate that Teddy Kennedy has put up a web page begging for q's, anything, that might actually score a point. He has to do this cuz he knows the D's have nothing and never did. And that's why there won't be a fb, either. [p.s. TL, It's Knight-Ridder, I believe, not Knights-Ridder. Think Hasselhoff.]

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#6)
    by glanton on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 11:54:53 AM EST
    Jim: So now you're taking the bait on her tears? Good Lord. Tell me. Is there a truly analytical bone in your body, or are you just in it to dance to the bells and whistles? Sometimes I have to believe that you're just messing with us. Nobody can be that predictable, that in line with every Talking Point.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 12:02:51 PM EST
    glanton - My comment was that I learned long ago that some tactics are not to be used. Attacking middle aged women for crying because.... for whatever reason... is is one not to be used. Now use of that "analytical" ability to figure out why the abvove is correct. Hint: I didn't say the tears were "fair." And you need to learn that disgreeing with one side is not agreeing with the other.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#8)
    by roy on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 12:39:14 PM EST
    Kudos to whoever for actually reading the opinions, but I'm unimpressed. The article claims that Alito's written opinions show that he makes decisions based on a desire to advance conservative policy (result-oriented) rather than based on his philosophy on how law should be interpreted (philosophy-oriented). But the article doesn't even attempt to show how any decision was reached. Without that, it fails to support its thesis. It almost addresses the distinction in talking about the infamous strip-search case:
    In one highly publicized case, Alito upheld a police strip search of a 10-year-old girl by arguing that a warrant that didn't mention the girl should be read "broadly." The ruling is a rare instance of a conservative jurist arguing for a departure from strict textual interpretation in favor of government intrusion.
    In that opinion (PDF), Alito claims to be bound by precedent in how to interpret the warrant. Even good judges who rule by applying a consistent philosophy are supposed to set that philosophy aside when precedent makes them. Maybe Alito is full of carp in claiming precedents, but the article doesn't address the issue. So the write-up of this case still doesn't distinguish between result-oriented and philosophy-oriented decision making. (though maybe there's an argument to be made that Alito follows precedent only when convenient) And for most of the cases mentioned, the writer makes little effort to mention the merits of the case. There's just enough to categorize the outcome as "conservative" or "liberal", but not enough to see whether the outcome was correct given the evidence presented and arguments made to the court. Yeah, that kind of detail would require an article longer than the audience's attention span, but the need for brevity doesn't actually strengthen a brief argument.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#9)
    by glanton on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:07:52 PM EST
    And you need to learn that disgreeing with one side is not agreeing with the other.
    And you probably don't need to learn the self evident truth that, in arenas of intense debate such as judicial nominations, sometimes to disagree with or disparage one side does indeed translate into supporting the other, no matter what little milquetoast disclaimers you might offer to cover yourself. Please note, Jim, that I do not dispute your claim as to the impact on the American people. it probably is true that the only thing most Americans will take from this confrontation is that the woman cried, and that they will frown upon the 'big bullies who made her cry.' The difference between us here is, I know how unflattering a light that sheds on our current populace, that they would be so easily suckered. But then, these are the same people who thought that Dukakis considered Willie Horton as his running mate; the same people who fell for the 'black baby' scam in South Carolina 2000; the same people who think there's a war on Christmas. We get what we deserve, I suppose.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:23:33 PM EST
    et al Very interesting comments from some of my family (who are still Dems) that all this is making the Dems look bad! I agree 100% I really liked Schumer's 15 minute tirad about how Alito should be just like the justice he is replacing! LMAO on that one. How stupid is that guy... ? Really? Lot's of grandstanding and political positioning and little or no substance. The American (voting) public is watching. And when the Dems lose next time, they'll all wonder why???

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:46:28 PM EST
    in arenas of intense debate such as judicial nominations, sometimes to disagree with or disparage one side does indeed translate into supporting the other,
    Does that count in the arena of armed conflict as well?

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#12)
    by glanton on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 01:59:49 PM EST
    Does that count in the arena of armed conflict as well?
    Cute, especially for you Patrick, but no cigar. Man, how desperately you people want to paint war critics as traitors, is beyond me. But then, with every generation a multitude of tools spring into being, ready to lick whatever boot as long as the word Patriotism gets thrown in there. But, to the brief task of shredding your pathetic equation: Talk/legistlation/debate over domestic social issues on the one hand, and armed combat on the other. Now, to make them truly analagous you'd have to ask, would physically assaulting troops on one side amount to support for the other? And the answer to that, clearly, would be yes.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:26:08 PM EST
    charlienolinks - Read the article. It says that nothing was found, but... Is that too complex for you?

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:27:50 PM EST
    glanton - It must be nice to know that everyone else is dumb but you. Of course as Brother Dave Gardner said:
    If the world is wrong, right thine own self.


    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#15)
    by glanton on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:40:18 PM EST
    Jim, First of all, if the world is wrong, the world is wrong. But secondly, we're not talking about 'the world'--but rather just enough suckers out there. Just barely enough. Your charges of elitism come from a well-established playbook. I swear, one could get all the good T-Points just from following your posts. Those from whom you take your lessons would have us believe we have a binaric choice bwteen only two realities: either you're fascinated by the Natalie Holloway story and cannot get enough of it, or you're an elitist. Which is of course baloney. But if it really were a choice between those two, I suppose any right-minded person would have to take 'elitism.'

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 05:40:33 PM EST
    ras, you get more pathetic with every post, Ted Kennedy ask the people who are going to be most affected by Alito on the supreme court what they would liked ask, and you make fun of it? You have nothing to say, up there safe in canada, in your parent's basement.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 07:33:08 PM EST
    glanton - Having never paid 2 minutes to that story, I really can't comment on it. But why do you attack those that do? NOT paying attention is no particular virtue, it just shows a dis-interst in pop culture, not any special virtues or talents. glanton, I think you are a good dude, but you sometimes suffer from the believe of the Left that if you are not with them, you are against them.... Now where did I hear that one before? Our political system, at one time, had a fair amount of reasoned debate. That was washed away when the Left gained control of the MSM in the mid 60's onward, and put America's best interest in the trunk of the car. The Internet has turned the table on them, but the results haven't been better ideas and comments, but an atmosphere that would put any John Birch Society meeting to shame. Some samples from a site that will show you what the Right is doing with them: Link
    Pacified: and do we want a judge who would marry such a weak-willed b*tch?
    BTP: Channeling Eric Cartman Yes! Yesss!! Oh, let me taste your tears, Martha-Ann! Mmm, your tears are so yummy and sweet!
    Do you not see why the middle will not sit down with such as this?

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#18)
    by glanton on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:08:24 PM EST
    Jim, Look, these judicial nominations, obviously, have a lot riding on them. I am upset about how it is going down, how it has been going down for five years now. I am against the GOP foreign policy but deep down, I can stomach it, I can at least relate to the other side's arguments. But when it comes to the freedoms and privacy rights that make this nation what it is--the domestic health--then I just don't see the other side respecting those principles at all. And I am angry at all of us for having created this GOP majority without at least checking its domestic agenda. I understand what you're saying about the general population not liking the spectacle of a man's wife being brought to tears. Who does enjoy such a thing, really? But I find it really, really weird that the woman crying gets all this press, but the nature of the questioning to which she reacted gets zilch. Everyone knows she broke down. Fewer know, or seem to care to know, what the heated questions were or why they were asked. And all else aside, we both know that the Dems have legitimate concerns about this nominee, in terms of his past associations as well as his present convictions-- as they would on any nominee that Bush would see as a good nominee. And those concerns would get top billing in a nation filled with informed, thoughtful citizens. At least, in my view that would be the case. Obviously you disagree with that. C'est la vie.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#19)
    by aw on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 08:47:15 PM EST
    Will you righties be so sympathetic when a poor woman cries because she can't get a legal abortion? Or because a mother cries that W wasted her son's life in Iraq? Or because her child has no health insurance? Or are your sympathies reserved only for certain women who cry?

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:14:51 PM EST
    glanton.... we both know that the Dems have legitimate concerns about this nominee, in terms of his past associations Yes...who he associated with in college (over 20 years ago) is very important now! How many of you out there hold the same beliefs you had in college? C'mon...get real. I know it's a stretch...but try.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#21)
    by ding7777 on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 05:43:39 AM EST
    When I saw the news clip of Mrs. Alito crying, I didn't realize it was Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who made Mrs. Alito cry. My first thought was she was crying because of warrantless strip search of a little 10-year girl or maybe of the women who needed her estranged husband's permission to get an abortion.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:54:55 AM EST
    Charlie..... Gee, I thought you loons didn't believe in evolution. Careful, bigot boy, they'll throw ya under the bus. One easy question for you. Even you can handle this.... It is possible for you to carry on any sort of 'adult' conversation without calling people names? I do in fact believe in evolution... ! Just goes to show how much you know.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#23)
    by glanton on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 09:09:47 AM EST
    BB: That's a very good point. And you know, probably like you, I have some pretty radically different beliefs than those I held in college. There was a time when i thought Ayn Rand a brilliant philosopher, that athletes were not role models, that Milwaukee's Best was an acceptable beer, and that Perot was a great candidate for President, just to name some off-the-wall examples.... If such is the case with Alito, that wouldn't surprise me at all. But you know what? As I am not mentally incapacitated, I can remember a lot about who and what I was in college and the same about those I associated with--this, too, even though I did a lot of things that turn out to be not so good for memory if you know what I mean.... ;-) Anyway, if Alito would do as, say, Sen Byrd has done, and acknowledge what he was in the past, and recognize the errors of his youth, then that would be one thing. But to say "I cannot recall" or "gee, I didn't know they believed that kind of stuff"-- Tell me. Don't you think he's dancing just a bit too finely for someone about to assume a mantle of power? Be honest with what you were, and tell us what you are now. That's what the Senate ought to be demanding. Anything less, as they say, would be uncivilized.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#24)
    by Sailor on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 04:43:03 PM EST
    charlie, I love your points, I hate your epithets. Please, your case is so much stronger when you leave off the personal attacks. I know it is hard, especially when rabid poodles are threatening your ankles;-) but it is against TL policy, and downright rude. Never give an inch, but leave the 'politics of personal destruction' to the rethugs.

    Re: Knights-Ridder Defends Alito Case Analysis (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:34:19 PM EST
    charlienolinks - Yes, charlie, I will be reminding you of that remark from time to time. Think of it as God's way of telling you that humility is a virtue. BTW - I know this is very complex, but please try to pay attention. My comment was showing you what the Right was doing with comments from the Left, so I linked to a Right Wing site. From it you can link to the Left wing sites in question. I do hope we aren't going to fast for you, charlienolinks.