Judge Alito, Fanatical Moderate

November 1, 2005

Based on his record, Judge Alito is a perfectly moderate candidate for SCOTUS, so it’s hard to see why the right is painting him as a tough conservative and the Dems as the devil incarnate.

Here are the judgments he’s made that the WSJ (subscription) believes qualify him as a strong conservative.

One case we’ll be hearing a lot about is ACLU v. Schundler. Here Judge Alito carefully balanced two Supreme Court precedents to uphold a holiday display in Jersey City that included “not only a crèche, a menorah, and Christmas tree, but also large plastic figures of Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman, a red sled, and Kwanzaa symbols.”

Not sure Frosty is right wing, and then there’s beardgate:

Judge Alito has also…ruled against the Newark police department for preventing Sunni Muslim officers from wearing beards.

No much fundamentalist christianity here.

He’s also a believer in federalism and putting some limits on the Commerce Clause — as seen in his Rybar dissent, where he cited Lopez to say Congress lacks the authority to regulate intra-state possession of machine guns.

So he believes in Federalism when giving a dissenting opinion.

On the abortion litmus test he’s gray – it’s OK with reasonable restrictions.

…he agreed with a unanimous Third Circuit panel — upheld by the Supreme Court — which found that four of Pennsylvania’s restrictions on abortion were not an “undue burden” under prior High Court rulings. He was the lone appeals judge to support the law’s fifth restriction — spousal notification — which the Supreme Court threw out.

If this guy is right wing, I’m a Jacques Chirac.

UPDATE: Adding insult to injury, I misspelled Judge Alito’s name & have corrected the error.


German Joke

November 1, 2005

The coalition between Merkel’s CDU and Schroeder’s (prior to his resigning) SPD is dissolving before it’s formed and German pols need help, as suggested in this updated German Joke.

The Problem

German Grand Coalition May Die Before It’s Born

One of the leaders in Germany’s proposed coalition government said Monday he was stepping down as party chairman, raising questions about the future of the deal struck to give the country its first female leader.

After announcing he would give up his position as head of the Social Democrats, Franz Muentefering said it was uncertain whether he would serve as vice chancellor in the new Cabinet under Chancellor-designate Angela Merkel.

The Solution

Berlin November 2005. The CDU elite faces crisis – not only are they unable to govern, but they need to close Germany’s $42 billion budget gap by end 2007 – otherwise the EU will hand Germany over to better-managed Poland.

Then a stroke of luck – German secret agents in the US report a 55 year old perfect clone of Adolph Hitler has been found running a bookstore in Washington DC!

The CDU team sends over a top level deputation of pols and military to ask Adolph to return as Father of the German people.

Arriving at Dulles, they limo straight to the bookstore, and yes, the great leader is there! They put the deal to him. After a lot of detailed negotiation, mostly to do with when he can invade which countries, he says he’ll sleep on the decision, and asks them to call back the next day.

Next day, the delegation arrives bright and early, and, kneeling, asks Hitler for his decision.

“I will lead the German people once again, and put them in their rightful place as masters of Europe” he says incisively, “BUT…”

“BUT?” the deputation choruses in terror…

“This time, No More Mister Nice Guy.”