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Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25

By a vote of 75 to 25, the Senate today ended debate on the nomination of Judge Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. The final vote is tomorrow, and over 40 Senators are expected to vote against his nomination.This means Alito will receive more "no" votes than any other confirmed Supreme Court nominee in the last 100 years, other than Justice Clarence Thomas. (via Save the Court)

TalkLeft offers many thanks to the courageous band of 25 who stood firm, did not yield, and voted their consciences which told them that Judge Alito was outside the mainstream and not an appropriate choice for a lifetime appointment to our nation's highest court.

From People for the American Way (received by e-mail, no link yet):

"Senators who voted to extend debate did everything possible to defeat the nomination of Samuel Alito to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. They also upheld the Senate's crucial role in our system of checks and balances. We believe that time will confirm the wisdom of their attempt to defeat this nominee.

"Samuel Alito's record tells us that the rights and liberties of every American will be significantly weakened over the decades that Alito is likely to serve on the Supreme Court. His well-documented record is why he was supported so enthusiastically by far-right activists. If he is true to that record, he will side far more often with the rights of the powerful against the powerless, favor corporations and big government against the rights and privacy of individuals, seek to roll back a woman's right to choose, and undermine legal protections for women, immigrants, minorities, and Americans with disabilities. He will stand aside while the executive branch claims excessive power to intrude on Americans' privacy and legal protections, but will vote to restrict the ability of Congress to protect the health, safety and welfare of Americans and our communities.

We are grateful for the leadership shown by senators who worked to prevent Samuel Alito's confirmation to a lifetime seat on our nation's highest court, and it is excruciatingly disappointing that more senators did not consider Alito's record sufficient reason to join those efforts.

"It is unfortunate that President Bush chose such a divisive nominee, rather than a mainstream conservative who could have received widespread bipartisan support. Even before the final vote is cast, it is clear that Samuel Alito will face the most Senate opposition since Clarence Thomas. In fact, Alito will be second only to Thomas in the number of senators voting against a nominee who is confirmed to the Supreme Court."

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  • Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    Can't we substitute Diana Ross and the Supremes instead? Whatever. Stick a robe on the bast*rd, swear him in, and let the follies begin. Bartender, another Gin Ricky please!

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 02:56:14 PM EST
    As a wingnut I must say that I was impressed by the effort of the left to urge their senators to represent them. While I don't agree with the idea of a fillubuster or that Alito shouldn't be a justice I can't honestly say that if the robes were flipped I wouldn't have given the same type of effort. Also there is not much difference to what the left attempted today and what the right did to Myers. The only difference was the success of the outcome depending on one's point of veiw.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#3)
    by Dadler on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:05:41 PM EST
    Harriet Myers was professionally unqualified for the court. Period. She hadn't the experience nor the chops. Alito has all the technical qualifications, we just can't stand his lack of agreeable chops. We don't like his act, as so far recorded. The end. Curtain.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:07:38 PM EST
    We can be proud we stood up and fought the good fight! Every senator's office I spoke with told me the phones were ringing off the hook. The next time and there will be a next time we will get up extra early and kick ass! Bravo to all of you!

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#5)
    by ras on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:08:30 PM EST
    Slado, Agreed about the effort the Left made; good on them (the base, not the pols). Disagree about the Miers' comparison, as getting a withdrawl is not the same as refusing to vote. [Frankly, I also think her nerves just gave out, but that's another story]. What's the Left gonna do now is the q. Will they excuse and continue to support a party that won't fight? Well, tehcnically, I guess the party will fight, but only if it's no risk, and those kinda battles are few & far between. But anyway we look at it, and regardless of which side of the Alito issue one is on, there's a deep rift in the Dems, too fundamental for the usual split-the-diff compromises.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:16:36 PM EST
    It was actually 72-25 -- three senators abstained from voting. Hagel was one -- can't remmeber who the other two were right now.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#7)
    by MikeDitto on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:21:45 PM EST
    Ras, the answer to that is that the party of the future is coming up from the bottom, thanks in large part to Howard Dean's leadership in rebuilding the party infrastructure. The old guard and its consultocracy are shaking in their boots. While I supported the filibuster in principle, I agree with John Aravosis that it was done in such a half-assed and ham-handed manner that it probably did more harm than good and probably shouldn't even have been started without a lot more ground work done up front. And they had plenty of time.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#8)
    by Lww on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:26:04 PM EST
    Hagel is running for President? With that shallow cynicism he's put himself front and center for the nomination. Pretty sad.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#9)
    by ras on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:26:22 PM EST
    Michael Ditto, Agreed. It was done as a last-minute pose instead of an organized campaign. By the time the grassroots were involved it was too late to have a chance. I also agree that Dean has the more moderate ones (my word choice, I respect that it's prob not yours in this case) shaking. As I've stated before, this is a purge of all non-Dean types from the party. The cloture roll-call gives him a list to work from, and I expect that he will. But I still wonder: where will they go, those pols & their supporters, when they leave the party? To the R's? Or to a 3rd party?

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#10)
    by Patrick on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:29:37 PM EST
    His well-documented record is why he was supported so enthusiastically by far-right activists.
    I guess that depends on who you compare them activists to. The "problem" wasn't his support by the extreme right wing (Which is who?) it was his support from middle that allowed (Or will allow) his confirmation.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 03:32:33 PM EST
    If he is true to [his] record... He will stand aside while the executive branch claims excessive power to intrude on Americans' privacy and legal protections
    This is the best legacy that bush is able to imagine for himself? That's it? What a cowardly, fearful, small-minded little man. How anyone, even the most insecure, can be proud of this is incomprehensible. What have supporters of this travesty won, other than having to live with it themselves?

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 04:09:46 PM EST
    "Theres a deep rift in the dems". A difficulty the reps have solved by encouraging and embracing an informed,educated electorate of millenialists,snake handlers,and gay bashers.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 04:23:01 PM EST
    Well, Jondee, I notice tht none of them are answering my question. Can it be that they have no idea. Can they be so dumb as to think "we won... who cares what... we won, uhhh, psssst, hey joe bob - whaddid we win, anyhoo?" "Don' matter, we won - bush'll think uh sumpin, and let us know what we think we won, soon..."

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#14)
    by Patrick on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 04:47:52 PM EST
    What have supporters of this travesty won, other than having to live with it themselves?
    Is this the question you wanted answered? What have we won? Ummm, the lifetime appointment of a conservative to the USSC, who was by most knowledgable accounts highly qualified to do the job.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 04:58:40 PM EST
    Patrick, that answer would apply equally well to Richard Nixon, who was also a lawyer, and was also "highly qualified" for lawyering as well as the job of president. My question was related to what you think you will gain from the types of rulings and decisions Alito is likely to make, and the social/political effects of them. But you know, I think, what I was asking.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 05:14:51 PM EST
    My question was also very closely related to, in fact almost a shorthand version of some other questions I have asked repeatedly of another commenter and Alito supporter over the past week or so. Alito has made it abundantly clear that he will lean towards, if not fall over backwards for, bush's obvious desire for few if any limits on his power. I also got either evasions, non-answers, or outright ignoring of the questions in response. So I must now ask another - Are straight direct honest answers from the right and from bush/alito supporters impossible to these questions? You think that a reasonable course is for the president to just consider himself above the law? You think that a reasonable course is for the president to do anything he wants to, regardless of the law? You think that a reasonable course is to walk, not blindly, but acquiescent and with wide open eyes, into dictatorship and fascism? What have supporters of this travesty won, other than having to live with it themselves?

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:52:20 PM EST
    The silence is deafening...

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#18)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:47:10 AM EST
    Edgar, in order... 1) No. I think a president should obey the law and the constitution. "IF" it is proven that the president has broken the law then shame on him. But it hasn't and "if" it is the case that he used his powers to spy on terrorists calling and receiving calls from inside the US then bravo. Keep it up. 2)See above since it's the same question. But building on my answer as you built on your first question I believe it's the repsonsibility of the POTUS to do everything in his power to protect the citizens of the USA. The first right of the republic is...life. The second is liberty. Nothing is possible without life so the POTUS should protect life first and liberty second. He should not abuse his power but at the same time he should not be hesitant...see democrats...to use it. 3)Really? See my many discussions with soccerdad on the facisim argument. This is a ridiculous position. President Bush will be former president Bush in 2009. There will be no fascist state and to believe that we are even 1% on the way to one is ridiculous. In my humble opinion. Congragulations Mr. Alito. And by the way the over the top case against Alito wich your questions reflect is why the fillubuster fell flat.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:23:47 AM EST
    Slado, Thank you for taking the time to respond to those questions. No one else has even attempted to. Just run away and hid or avoided the issue, or attempted to divert to other topics. But no one else would meet them head on. 2)See above since it's the same question. This question is not the same as #1 though on the surface it appears so. The FISA statutes provide for easy to obtain warrants, even after the fact. I do do not believe that there is any reason for Bush to avoid the court if as he claims what he is doing is legal. Do you think he should be avoiding the court? It makes him look guilty. And whether you do or not - In your answer to question (1) you said "IF" it is proven that the president has broken the law then shame on him. But it hasn't and "if" it is the case that he used his powers to spy on terrorists calling and receiving calls from inside the US then bravo. If he had gone to the FISA court we would know whether it was legal or not, and he would have his warrants and his justification if it is legal. This controversy would be defused and nonexistent. Diversionary tactics like claiming it would take up precious time to do so are invalid. He has up to 15 days, so let's stick to the core topic, ok? I believe that the fact that he is avoiding the court is going to hang him. With that in mind I'll repeat question (2): You think that a reasonable course is for the president to do anything he wants to, regardless of the law?

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:46:08 AM EST
    The first right of the republic is...life. The second is liberty. Nothing is possible without life so the POTUS should protect life first and liberty second.
    Slado, You have conveniently confused the Declaration of Independence with the US Constitution. Nowhere in the US Constitution does it state that life is protected first and liberty second.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#21)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:00:18 AM EST
    Thanks macro I'm aware. I was making a point for arguments sake not a legal one. Edgar, to your point. No the president is restrained by the law and constitution. I am not a lawyer so I will not argue the law but only point out that lawyers from both sides have criticized and praised the president. Who you believe depends on the biases that you bring. However politically this is a winning issue for the president and he is right to make his case. If he thinks it's legal...which I honestly think he does...then he would be going against everything he preaches if he wasn't to use it. I hear you though when you say it stinks, or at least smells fishy. I agree actually but since i'm a wingnut I also trust the president and do not assume the worst. I'm willing to wait but can understand that not everyone is willing to give him the benift of the doubt. I would only say that KGB and fascist comparisons are over the top and actually help the president in terms of public debate.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:06:55 AM EST
    Slado, Obviously honestly felt, and spoken. Thank you...

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:34:05 AM EST
    Edger, If you don't mind let me respond. The issue is a separation of power issue. The president believes he has the constitutionally granted authority to make this call, by going to the FISA court for a warrant, he would be relinquishing his executive authority to the judicial branch which would be a disservice to himself, the constitution, and all future presidents and judiciaries for that matter.

    Re: Alito Filibuster is Dead, Vote 75-25 (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 11:48:59 AM EST
    Actually variable, I think he would greatly strengthen his "executive authority", as you call it, but more importantly greatly strengthen his legitimacy and moral authority in the eyes of the whole country, were he to obtain FISA warrants. After all, if, as he claims, what he is doing is legal then what does he have to hide? By not going to the FISA court he appears to be hiding something, he appears illegitimate, and as Slado so well put it "it stinks, or at least smells fishy". It certainly does not look like the actions of a man to be trusted.