Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.) reminded his colleagues that he was running the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1990 when Alito came before the committee as an appealatte court nominee. While Kennedy didn’t call it a mistake for letting Alito have an easy ride back then, he made sure to indicate his displeasure with Alito’s record today.
"In a way, Judge Alito has faced this issue before as a nominee to the Court of Appeals. I had the privilege of chairing his confirmation hearing in 1990. At that time, he had practiced law for fourteen years, but only represented one client — the United States government. And I asked whether he believed he could be impartial in deciding cases involving the government.
"In that hearing, Judge Alito said on the record that the most important quality for a judge is ‘open-mindedness to the arguments.’
"He promised the Committee that he would make ‘a very conscious effort to be absolutely impartial.’
"We took him at his word, and overwhelmingly confirmed him to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We now have the record of Judge Alito’s 15 years on the bench, and the benefit of some of his earlier writings that were not available 15 years ago. I regret to say that the record troubles me deeply."