Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.), ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, kicked off the Democratic attacks on Samuel Alito with a heart-warming defense of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor from her critics on the right.
"I regret that some on the extreme right have been so critical of Justice O’Connor and have adamantly opposed the naming of a successor who shares her judicial philosophy and qualities. Their criticism reflects poorly on them. It does nothing to tarnish the record of the first woman to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She is a justice whose graciousness and sense of duty fuels her continued service more than six months after she announced her intention to retire."