Two for Two: Hillary Attacks Alito

Back when President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court last November, Sen. Clinton told questioning reporters that she was not going to say what she thought of the nominee. "I’m going to wait…until the entire process is over. I feel like I owe that to every nominee." She steadfastly refused to comment when Judge Alito’s mother was quoted as saying, "Of course [my son] is against abortion," and when Ted Kennedy criticized Judge Alito for claiming that Barry Goldwater influenced his conservative choices in life, even though young Hillary Rodham was influenced enough by the 1964 GOP presidential candidate to become a "Goldwater Girl." Now, as the Senate is about to finally vote on Alito’s nomination, Hillary has let her true feeling be known. And they ain’t exactly warm and fuzzy.

First, Sen. Clinton went to the floor of the Senate and blasted Judge Alito. To wit: "Judge Alito said it all in 1986 when he was a young lawyer with the Reagan administration. He wrote that in his estimation it is not the role of the federal government to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the American people." And then came a lame attempt at humor: "Well, I guess that explains the inept, slow, and dangerous response to Hurricane Katrina."

Hillary also slammed Judge Alito for his stand on abortion. "Judge Alito proudly announced his personal opposition to a woman’s right to choose early in his career in the now infamous 1985 job application for a position in the Reagan administration. And although he has tried to distance himself from the comments he made in that document, his time on the bench shows an unapologetic effort to undermine the right to privacy and a woman’s right to choose." This is quite a change from the new "moderate" stance on abortion that she tried to foist on the American public after the 2004 elections. A day after making her opposition to Judge Alito known on the Senate floor, Hillary released a statement confirming that she will join her more liberal Democratic colleagues in filibustering the nomination. Said Hill: "I believe the key to American progress has been the ever-expanding circle of freedom and opportunity…it is clear that Judge Alito would narrow that circle while endangering our nation’s fundamental system of checks and balances. This is a vote of tremendous significance. History will show that Judge Alito’s nomination is the tipping point against constitutionally-based freedoms and protections we cherish as individuals and as a nation. He would roll back decades of progress, and roll over when confronted with an administration too willing to play fast and loose with the rules. Because I do not think Judge Alito would advance the principles Americans hold most dear, I oppose his nomination and support efforts to block his confirmation." Hillary’s vote against Alito will be her second against President Bush’s Supreme Court choices in just the last few months, as she also voted against confirming Judge John Roberts as Chief Justice last September. This despite the fact that Senate Republicans overwhelmingly voted to confirm her husband’s two Supreme Court nominees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.