Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The sequel is always worse then the original

While Americablog has been touting a paper that Judge Alito wrote while an undergraduate to show that maybe he's not as severe a conservative as first thought, Robert Gordon at Slate has put together an excellent argument that "Scalito" is indeed more ferocious then the original. Basically, it comes down to the fact that Scalia has a bit of a libertarian streak. This finds him ruling at times against government infringement of individual rights, as he has in a number of cases. Alito, on the other hand, seems to be uniformly in favor of allowing government to treat you like a dog with a bone. This makes total sense in light of the two men's background; Scalia was most famously a law professor at the University of Chicago, where he spent a lot of time formulating esoteric arguments about the law and government power. Most of these theories were quite silly justifications for his natural conservative instincts, but occasionally, so that he could avoid contradicting himself, he had to formulate positions in actual support of limited government.
Alito, on the other hand, comes from the prosecutorial school. He probably sees the law as a tool to achieve ends, in his case the ends of big government conservatism and executive power. Of the two men, it seems that Alito will be the more, well, active judicial activist. All the more reason to kill this nomination, even if he does have a really cute college age son.


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