January 10, 2006
Washington, Jan. 10, 2006-Edwin Meese III,
Chairman of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The
Heritage Foundation, and Todd F. Gaziano, Director
of the Center, today issued the following statement regarding the
opening statements in the Alito confirmation hearing:
"It was a strange spectacle yesterday to hear several of the most liberal senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee praise Justice O'Connor and, in almost the same breath, express 'grave concern' that Alito would follow many decisions that O'Connor joined or wrote. The inherent contradictions in statements by Kennedy, Schumer, and Durbin were particularly surprising.
"Justice O'Connor consistently joined federalism cases criticized by Schumer and other liberals. She cast the tie-breaking vote in Bush v. Gore. She provided the pivotal vote upholding the Cleveland school voucher program a few years ago and joined a line of cases accommodating religious expression which Senator Durbin seemed particularly upset about yesterday. O'Connor's landmark opinion in City of Richmond v. Croson ended the double standard for government contracting preferences based on race forever, and she cast the fifth vote to allow the Boy Scouts to set its own policies on homosexual scoutmasters. We wonder whether Kennedy will urge Alito to follow these decisions.
"We don't pretend to agree with every position O'Connor has ever taken, but when we hear liberal senators lauding O'Connor and then expressing concern about cases she joined (or wrote), we just have to laugh."