Monday, October 31, 2005

Reaction To Alito Nomination: How Times Have Changed

By now I'm sure you've heard that Samuel Alito has been nominated by President Bush. I'm still reading reactions and biographical information on Judge Alito, but one thing has struck me initially.

The left is going ape over the nomination, with Harry Reid threatening a filibuster. Not all of the Gang of 14 agree with that view, so it is unclear at this point whether Reid's comments are once again an empty threat. But what I find amazing is how much the tenor of the debate between Republicans and Democrats has changed in the last 15 years. The Bench section of the National Review (which has pages and pages on the nomination) had three quick posts here:
Approved unanimously for the federal Court of Appeals judge by Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, and unanimously by the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee, in 1990.
and here:
Ted Kennedy on Alito, from 1990

Alito has “a distinguished record” ... “[w]e look forward to supporting you.”
and here:
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): Alito is “the kind of judge the public deserves — one who is impartial, thoughtful, and fair.”
Things will definitely different this time around. How times have changed.