October 31, 2005
Justice Alito
Posted by Gordon Smith

"Two senior Republican officials" are reporting that Samuel Alito is President Bush's next nominee for the Supreme Court. The announcement is expected this morning. [And it's now official.]

Senators on both sides of the aisle already are mentioning the "F" word: filibuster. Nobody is talking specifics yet, but if it comes to a decision to filibuster, the central focus will likely be Alito's dissent in Casey in 1991, in which Alito would have allowed a spousal notification requirement for women seeking an abortion.

Alito has the flashy credentials (Princeton, Yale) that Harriet Miers did not have, but more importantly, he has both experience as a practicing lawyer (prosecutor) and as a judge. Larry Ribstein looked at his business law opinions, but I see no business experience in his bios. His work as a prosecutor and his tough-on-crime reputation is likely to ruffle some feathers, but he also seems to have a reputation for fairness. Alito looks solid and is a strong departure from stealth mode.

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