Tony Perkins delivers two solid news nuggets in his Family Research Council Washington Update. I’ll cover them in two posts.
Topping Perkins’ alert is a reminder to conservatives that the battle for Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito is far from over. In fact, Perkins says, liberals are just beginning to “sharpen their knives” following the disclosure this week that Alito, in a job application in 1985, said he personally did not believe the Constitution protected a right to abortion. In Perkins’ own words:
When I travel, I get the impression that some people in the country think that Judge Sam Alito is a sure bet for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite all the positive impressions Alito has made on Capitol Hill, don’t assume anything! The disclosure this week of his 1985 letter to former Attorney General Ed Meese is being treated like a "smoking gun" by liberal activists.
It’s almost hard to believe that things have gone as well as they have with the Alito nomination. Democrats are falling all over themselves on Iraq, and President Bush has conveniently distracted the news media from Alito-watch by giving it right back to Democrats on the war.
But it’s important to remember that Alito is not out of the woods—despite the good start he’s off to during his meetings with senators. Remember that Clarence Thomas didn’t run into trouble until the 41st day after President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1991. Today is Day 17.
And the fact that Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) has put off hearings until January means Alito has about six more weeks of scrutiny to endure before having an opportunity to defend himself. Thankfully for his sake, there are two major holidays between now and then, and journalists, just like everyone else, will be taking their share of vacation time.