f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

October 31, 2005

alito — take a deep breath

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:44 pm

[Note: The serious comments on Judge Alito start

with the “afterthought” section below.  But, don’t let

that stop you from reading the lighter stuff.]


The nomination of Samuel Anthony Alito for the U.S.

Supreme Court probably has quite a few lawyers and

law students Turning Italian right about now.  If they

don’t have time for a deep-immersion course in the 

language, I want to recommend Don Cangelosi’s

as a practical substitute for serious study. [you can

even look inside the book here for quick pointers]


ItalianWW  After spending a little time with Ultralingua,

I can tell trivia lovers that “alito means “breath,” as

well as “puff,” in Italian.


puffs from the right

huffs from the left


        dagosan:   [Oct. 31, 2005]


Although “scalia” does not appear to be a word in the  scales rich poor

Italian language, scala” is a scale (measure) or staircase

(think escalator).  Hmm.

tiny check  A note to ethnology buffs:  If Sam Alito is anything like

your humble Editor, he does not consider himself to be

“Italian.”  He’s American and, if you insist on further

ethnic classification, he’s Italo/Italian American.  Italian

ancestry is a very good thing, but no one’s taking the

boat back to the Old Country to stay.


orig.  AlitoSA


afterthought (midnight):  Blue Mass Group weblog has a

very interesting post entitled “One Liberal’s Positive View

of Alito.”  The remarks of a progressive democrat who

clerked for Judge Alito are reassuring and well worth

your attention — especially if you are tempted, like

the self-promoting Chuck Schumer, to react very nega-

tively to Judge Alito, merely because he is clearly a

conservative jurist.   Go now, read Katherine Pringle’s

assessment of her old boss.  (via SCOTUS Blog)

update (Nov. 1, 2005): There are two New York Times pieces

today for those of us who are left-of-center, don’t have to please

constituencies, and want to give Samuel Alito thoughtful consid-

Separated at the Bench,” Nov. 1, 2005).  And, here’s a question

that I believe is worth pondering:

If Judge Alito would indeed be an independent, highly
respected, consensus-building, conservative Justice,
couldn’t he be the best possible person to counter
the extremism of Justice Scalia (pointing out over-

reaching, finding narrower grounds, etc. ) on a Court

that is very likely to have a “conservative” majority

for a very long time?

update (Nov. 2, 2005): In the run-up to the Alito Senate hearings,

I will list here links to other materials from “unexpected” sources

that caution against a knee-jerk reaction to Sam Alito’ nomination.

From TalkLeft: A Defender Praises Alito (Oct. 31, 2005).

Peter Goldberger, a Pennsylvania lawyer, starts his

description of Alito with: Don’t guess at Judge Alito’s

predilictions. I am a full-time criminal defense appellate

litigator, and more than half my cases are in the 3d Circuit.

Alito — unlike some judges we both know — does not “twist

the facts, ignore facts, and even make up facts to make the

facts fit the argument they want to make.” He is intellectually

honest in the highest degree.  . . . He is very conservative,

but he is neither knee-jerk nor dishonest.”


From Blue Mass Group: The Alito MoveOn Didn’t Mention

(Nov. 1, 2005): David Kravitz shows how easily the record

of any long-sitting judge can be manipulated.  Kravitz

notes:  “All that this – or any of the other “lists” floating around –

can prove is that Alito has been a judge for a long time; that

 he has decided a lot of tough cases that could have gone

either way; and that you should be very careful about reading

too much into selective “case summaries” proffered by interest

groups with an agenda.”  He continues:

“Bottom line: make up your own mind.  Do some

research on non-partisan sites (SCOTUSblog is

always a good place to start, and any Alito opinion

published in 1996 or later should be available at Findlaw). 

And wait for the confirmation hearings, where you can

bet that Alito will be questioned for hours about many

of the opinions that the lefties are worried about – that,

after all, is what the hearings are for.”


                                                                                                                   scales rich poor neg





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