Judge Alito is a smart, experienced, and knowledgeable jurist. I have no doubt of his legal ability. I do not share either his judicial philosophy (apparently a mixture of quasi-originalism and social conservatism) or his views about many issues likely to come before the Supreme Court (ranging from the right to privacy to federalism). In such circumstances, I ordinarily would support his confirmation. On balance, the Senate should give more weight to excellence than judicial philosophy, and that is why I endorsed the confirmation of John Roberts.
Whatever else Judge Alito may or may not have made clear about his views on such issues as abortion, federalism, and religious freedom, he has certainly made clear that he has no interest in restraining the acts of this commander-in-chief. That, in my judgment, poses a serious threat to the nation, and is a more than adequate reason for the Senate – Republicans and Democrats alike – to deny his confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Tell me again that this is a done deal?