As anyone who has been viewing the Supreme Court nomination hearing of Samuel Alito, Jr. has had opportunity to witness, each and every Democrat member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has praised retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as a “model.” In other words, a model that Judge Alito is being measured against during these hearings — a litmus test, after a fashion — and a model which some Senate Democrats appear to believe he should emulate.
However, should Justice O’Connor be nominated today, she would likely receive few votes from those same Democrats. Justice O’Connor’s votes and opinions during her time on the Supreme Court would draw the ire of the committee members who have praised her, just as similar rulings by Judge Alito have since he was nominated. A few examples aptly demonstrate this point.
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