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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alito Questioning: Day 2, Part II

HATCH SECOND ROUND: Begins by covering Roberts’ ass. (RH: And I do mean Roberts -- he was talking about something that was said earlier about Roberts' testimony re: abortion.) Blah blah blah left wing groups are mean blah blah blah let me allow you time to talk about how mean they are blah blah blah what do you think about people who say mean things about you blah blah blah. Chidester. Blah blah blah mean people make me sad blah blah blah. Can President immunize violations of law? (RH: Hello, straw man?) Alito says Mitchell v. Forsythe case talked about immunity for civil damages – not dealing with criminal liability. More Hatch attestation to Alito’s character without being sworn in as a witness – and then Hatch cherry picks only those cases which are favorable to Alito to discuss with regard to racial and employment issues. (RH notes: Hatch needs to work on his faux surprise at Alito’s answers. Bit too hammy.) And back to Vanguard – Hatch clearly has this issue stuck in his craw, which means he thinks it might gain traction. (RH: BTW, what I find offensive is Hatch’s throwing out whatever ethics scruples he may have had in order to obtain a seat at the power table by rubber stamping the party line.) Then on to moot court sessions with the Administration – again, Hatch worried about traction? Discussion of divided court opinions and dissents.

KENNEDY SECOND ROUND: More Vanguard – Alito, no real answer, but generally feels bad when Kennedy is asking him about it. Color Kennedy unconvinced. (Color Hatch peevish.) You have no specific recollection of joining CAP? Kennedy then reads from an article from the CAP magazine – Alito says he disagrees with all of the assertions contained in the article – Kennedy goes on to talk about other patently offensive statements in other articles. Kennedy then reads letter from CAP from 1984 – year before Alito put reference to CAP on his application to DOJ – talking about women being admitted – which would have been about the time that Alito joined CAP – Kennedy also referencing WSJ editorial about CAP at the time. Alito says that he can’t recall any of these things in reference to him joining CAP – says the only thing he can recall was treatment of ROTC as catalyst for joining this group. Kennedy’s staff has done some ROTC research on Princeton – doesn’t match up with the time frame description for Alito. Alito says it is his recollection that this was a continuing source of controversy – credit for courses, etc.

**Then an argument between Specter and Kennedy – over documents, over procedure, and over executive session questions. Quite heated, and I’m certain we’ll get more on this later.**

GRASSLEY SECOND ROUND: Let’s begin by my talking about how much I like you, I really like you. And then let me take time to testify as to why I disagree with anyone who criticizes you. Let’s now talk about equality under the law – isn’t it neat. Alito: sure is. Do you believe in one person, one vote? A: Yes. (RH: Ooooh, shocker.) Blah blah blah you hired minorities and women blah blah blah gosh, that’s neat blah blah blah more complimentary statements, but nothing critical to put in record blah blah blah. What role does long-standing practice have in assessing case? A: Can be very relevant. Legislative history also important. (RH: Good answer when talking with legislators.) Plain language of statue first, then history – but carefully done. Now questions about Mystic – and about legislation that Grassley authored that was involved in that case – and false claims.

Recess until 2:00 pm ET.

Kennedy requests that Specter’s staff’s response to Kennedy’s letter be included in record. Durbin also asks that he be given 2 minutes time to respond to things said about Durbin after he left the committee – will speak later. Discussion about giving everyone an opportunity to respond when they want it. Defer until the afternoon – now lunch. DailyKos has Kennedy's letter to Specter posted here.

Alito Ques. -- Day 2, Part I