January 16, 2006

Alito hearings on NPR 

Whatever you think about the nomination of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, we hope you caught some of the Senate confirmation hearings as they aired last week on WILL-AM. Some people told me the hearings were endless and boring. I didn't have the free attention to listen the entire week, but every time I tuned in it seemed pretty interesting, including the questioning by Dick Durban (D-IL) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) on whether or not Roe v. Wade is "settled" law. The hearings have concluded, and now comes a certain amount of political push-and-shove over the confirmation vote in the full Senate. Given that Judge Alito didn't say anything with which he could actually be hanged, it's likely he will ultimately be confirmed. But until then, this is still a "democratic moment" during which members of the Senate, and by extension all Americans, have a chance to examine and consider the character and qualifications of someone who will play key role in determining vital Constitutional issues over the next several decades. In that light the hearings, though possibly "endless and boring," deserve our attention. Kudos to NPR for airing the hearings live, and for their extensive reporting and analysis. If you missed anything, you can listen again and get lots more on the Alito hearings here on the NPR web site.

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