The big question in Washington this week won’t be whether Samuel Alito wins confirmation to the Supreme Court, but rather how many votes he’ll get in the Senate.
The one Republican who still hasn’t made up his mind — Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R.-R.I.) — is now facing pressure to say one way or the other. His opponent in the GOP primary, Stephen Laffey, today called on Chafee to reach a conclusion.
Here’s Laffey’s press release:
Today, Cranston Mayor and U.S. Senate candidate Stephen P. Laffey called on Senator Lincoln Chafee to make up his mind regarding the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito for the United States Supreme Court. The Mayor also reiterated his support for the nomination and commended Judge Alito for his long and impressive service on the federal bench.
Noting Senator Chafee’s infamous inability to choose between voting for President Bush or Senator Kerry in 2004, Mayor Laffey commented, “As long as we have known Senator Chafee he has shied away from taking a firm stance on the critical issues of the day. Judge Alito has a 15-year record on the bench, he has gone through one full week of intense public hearings, and he has had private meetings with Senator Chafee. There appears to be no other reason for Senator Chafee’s trademark hemming and hawing other than to weigh the political winds.”
“It is time for Senator Chafee to recognize the admirable qualifications and independence of Judge Alito,” Mayor Laffey continued, “and reject the hyper paranoia of the liberal extremist groups in Washington. The American people and specifically the people of Rhode Island deserve to know where the Senator stands on this vital issue. What is Senator Chafee waiting for?”