In his speech from the Senate floor today Sen. John Cornyn’s (R.-Texas) spoke out in support of Judge Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court. He defended the Judge’s judicial philosophy as "mainstream" and explained clearly the difference between a "unitary executive" and an "all-powerful executive."
An excerpt from his speech is posted below:
It is clear to me, though, during the course of the confirmation process, that the reason I support Judge Alito — his philosophy of judicial restraint — is exactly the reason his detractors oppose his nomination. The sad fact is that there are some in this country who don’t want judges who respect the legislative choices made by the American people. Rather, they want judges who will substitute their own personal ideological or political agenda for those choices made in the Halls of Congress by the elected representatives of the American people.
There are some in this country who have views that are so out of the mainstream that they don’t have any chance to persuade the American people to accept them. For example, there are some who want to end traditional marriage between one man and one woman. There are some who want to continue the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. Some even want to abolish the Pledge of Allegiance. But they know if they brought some of those issues to the floor of the Senate and to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, these are not the views that would be expressed through the elected representatives of the American people because the American people themselves don’t agree with these far left, out-of-the-mainstream views.
For these advocates of these out-of-the-mainstream views, the only way they will ever see their views enacted into law is to circumvent the American people and pack the courts with judges who will impose their agenda on the American people. They believe in judicial activism because judicial activism is all they have.
Of course, Judge Alito’s detractors will never say they believe in judicial activism. They know the American people don’t favor it. They know the American people believe fervently in democracy and self-determination, and they don’t want unelected judges making the laws of this country. So Judge Alito’s detractors are forced to oppose his nomination on the basis of certain pretexts. They are forced to grasp for any means they can to try to defeat his nomination. As one of Judge Alito’s detractors put it, "you name it, we will do it" to defeat Judge Alito.
One of their favorite pretexts — and we have heard some of it this morning — is that Judge Alito embraces this view of an omnipotent executive branch; that he believes the President’s powers are without limitation. This pretext is a complete canard. It is based on the claim that Judge Alito once endorsed an academic theory called the unitary executive. But a unitary executive is not the same as an all-powerful executive. It is, after all, a theory that says there are three coequal branches of Government — executive, legislative, and judicial. And each official within that each branch is accountable to the people for the power they exercise and is delegated to them by the Constitution and laws of the country.
Check out http://cornyn.senate.gov for Cornyn’s full statement.