In a major public service, the N.Y. Times this morning gives Senator Leahy the first word:
He says he plans to assess Judge Alito on ideological grounds.
“This is not over competence,” Mr. Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “He certainly is competent. This is the whole issue of ideology, and if the ideology is one that you go in with a predetermined agenda, then I don’t care if they are a Democrat or a Republican. They don’t belong on the Supreme Court.”
It also gives Senator Kennedy pretty much the last word, which has him “urg[ing] his colleagues not to reject the nominee simply because they might not share his views”:
“We are really interested in knowing whether the nominee has the background, experience, qualifications, temperament and integrity to handle this most sensitive, important and responsible job,” Mr. Kennedy said.
Of course, he said that in 1967, apropos Thurgood Marshall.