The Imperial President's hit man

Poor Samuel J. Alito. If he could have just gone through his Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings before all this muck about the spy scandal, he may have had an easier time. But with few outlets to express their frustration, Senator's angry at Bush's "imperial presidency" (as Senator Kennedy called it) are using the Alito hearings to argue in favor of checks and balances. Today's reading of statements is merely the drawing of the battle lines in the confirmation hearings and today Democrats and a few Republicans are expressing their concern that Alito would be just one more "yes man" for Bush on the Supreme Court.

They have good reason to be concerned. As Senator Kennedy noted, in his fifteen years on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito supported the individual over the corporation in less than 16 percent of his rulings.

"We need to know, when a president goes too far, will you be a check on his power, or will you issue him a blank check to exercise whatever power he alone thinks appropriate?'' asked New York Democrat Charles E. Schumer? A rhetorical question, surely. Tthe real question being: will the spying scandal inspire Democrats to make a strong showing against Alito? Will there be a real battle in the Senate? The important point here is not whether Alito is confirmed (though yes yes yes that's important) but will there be blood on the floor and a growing sense of uprising against the self-appointed king.

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