Sen. Orrin Hatch, slated for questioning right after Sen. Leahy who pounded issues of credibility and executive power, sought to refute charges made against Judge Alito.
In bringing up recusal issues surrounding the Vanguard cases, Hatch noted criticisms were “as phony as anything I’ve ever seen in my time around here.” His questions allowed Alito to thoroughly defend his actions. Alito said “I went beyond the letter of the ethics rules….I applied my own personal standards to go beyond what the code of conduct requires” before recusing himself to ensure without a doubt the plaintiff received a fair hearing.
Hatch also asked executive power questions framed to show how Alito’s balanced approach to the court. After Leahy elaborated on cases in which Alito ruled in favor or executive power, wishing to convince others this was indicative of Alito’s personal bias, Alito was able to talk about cases which he did not. Alito discussed to murder cases he was involved with in which decisions were reversed based on racial issues. One of “which I concluded there had been racial discrimination in the selection of a jury of that case” and the other “denied habeas corpus and there was an error in excluding testimony that included racial bias.” Alito started to detail another case where he ruled against executive power, but Hatch politely cut him off.
Hatch directed his next comment to “leftist members and said “the point is in that 5,000 cases you can find whatever you want…that’s the point I am trying to make.”