This blog has some peculiar spam filters that occasionally block a comment or two - Greg from Winston Dorm mentioned the card game you play with chips - so here it is with that taken out:
Buck up little camper, you should have a great Carolina pool table light waiting for you when you return to NY.
As for Samuel Alito, I suspect the liberal fears about his appointment to the Supreme Court may be a bit premature. Alito certainly has writings and some work history which suggests he could become "Scalito". That might be what Bush supporters hope for. If you listen to what his colleagues say about him and what the more scholarly pundits say about him, however, Alito
is his own man.
Those who know him say he is a judge's judge and an all-around great guy and has been so since his earliest years, right out of college. I attended a seminar where a UNC-CH law school professor, Michael Gerhardt, explained how both John Roberts and Alito answered their questions during the whole vetting process. Both men stated that they decide cases from the
This is in direct contrast to the perceived way that Scalia and his flunky, Thomas, like to apply their philosophies to any cases, as they both seem to decide according to their preconceived framework. In other words, they decide cases from the top down. Those in the know say that Alito prefers to
let the underlying facts of the lower courts shape his opinion on each case. From the bottom up.
Maybe Alito has been well-coached or well prepared. I don't know. I do know, however, that I like the idea of a judge, especially a Supreme Court justice, coming to the bench with an open mind and a clean slate when it comes to deciding cases.
Both he and Roberts also went through pains to state how much they believe in precedent. Roe v. Wade is precedent. And, it has survived more than 30 years as precedent. It's not that easy to overturn it. So, by their own stated philosophies, neither man is hell bent on going in with an agenda.
I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. In this situation, however, I do not feel as though the world is going to hell in a handbasket just because the sitting president got two of his nominations through. If anything, I think we got a couple of "just the facts", no-nonsense judges.
The way I see it, I bet Alito becomes one of those rare justices who cannot be pegged on the issued by the pundits beforehand. I suspect he'll one day piss off Bush or the Republicans because he'll decide a case on the facts that may not be in line with the party's politics. Similarly, I suspect he'll alienate the other side of the aisle with some of his decisions because he was not moved by their rhetoric.
And that is the very definition of what you would like to see in a Supreme Court justice. When you think about it, regardless of what side you are on, do you REALLY want a justice on the bench who can tell you today how he or she might decide a case one year, two years or 20 years from now?
I'm betting Sam remains Sam and when Scalia and Thomas invite him over for cards, I betcha he takes all of their money and leaves them both shaking their head, muttering: "Dang, that guy has no 'tells'! He took all of my money and I still can't get a read on him."
Ian, I hope your head gets better.