The U.S. Senate voted 58-42 on Tuesday to confirm Judge Samuel Alito as the 110th justice on the Supreme Court.
The vote, which came after a failed Democratic filbuster, caps a high-stakes political spat that began with President Reagan's failed nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the court in 1987. At the time, Democrats charged that Bork's confirmation would lead to "back-alley abortions" and "segregated lunch counters" -- and those charges have rankled in conservative circles ever since.
It's not entirely clear what Justice Alito means for the technology topics so beloved by our readers. An analysis we published in November showed that he has police-friendly views of electronic surveillance and views on copyright that appear to be more tech- than Hollywood-friendly.
That was, of course, before the flap over NSA surveillance and the whole "unitary executive" thing -- but one Democratic senator says Alito assured him that he's not going to be in sync with the White House on that point. Soon we may know for sure.
Blog community response:
"I am really disgusted with the "Democratic" Party. I really don't want to BE a Democrat any more, I don't like being called spineless (because y'all know I am NOT) and I don't like even being ASSOCIATED with spineless let alone using the word "I" in the same sentence. I want to change parties, especially if they are all like these people who voted for Alito's confirmation...."
"The Court will begin figuring out what it will do with already-argued cases on which Alito has not sat. Among the most likely options are, first, going ahead with decisions that are already in the drafting stages, without his participation, and, second, ordering cases to be reargued -- either later this Term, or in the Term that begins on Monday, Oct. 2, with his participation..."
"As somebody who has publicly backed Alito as the best choice for the high court since way back in October of 2004, I take particular pleasure in this triumph... Without this site, we would right now be seeing the confirmation of some second-rater..."