Given that we are talking about lifetime appointments to the most powerful decision-making body in our society, I think Senators should be able to use whatever goddamn criteria they like to oppose whatever nominee comes up.
It isn't as if we get a second shot at this; we can't afford to screw it up. There should be three rejections for every acceptance.
Three rejections for every acceptance? Yikes, the Senate might also want to reserve some time for legislating, no? And "whatever goddamn criteria" is a wee bit broad when considering race-,gender-, and religion-based rejections. Nor do I think that the S.Ct. needs
any sort of religious or ethnic balance. A diversity of opinions is nice, but we needn't religious balancing to achieve such a goal.
I'll reserve my final judgment for after the hearings, but I'm fairly happy with the Alito pick. He seems reasonable, and some initial opposition (anti-discrimination, anti-immigrant, etc.) seems overblown when you read the actual opinions. For instance, I think the following post contained some serious oversimplifications:
For starters, Alito hasn't always upheld abortion restrictions (see BBB's earlier post). None or few of the above generalizations are fair considering the actual legal issues involved in the cases cited. Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, for instance, was not a case about "immigrant rights," per se, but a question of whether a certain tax offense constituted an "aggravated felony" as defined in by the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The FLMA case, Chittister v. Dept. of Community & Economic Development involved an 11th amendment question (state immunity). Alito's holding was limited to municipal employers, and it wasn't an outlier among courts of appeals. See Laro v. New Hampshire, 259 F.3d 1, 11 (1st Cir. 2001); Townsel v. Missouri, 233 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir. 2000); Kazmier v. Widmann, 225 F.3d 519, 526, 529 (5th Cir. 2000); Sims v. University. of Cincinnati, 219 F.3d 559, 566 (6th Cir. 2000); Hale v. Mann, 219 F.3d 61, 69 (2d Cir. 2000); Garrett v. University of Alabama Birmingham Board of Trustees, 193 F.3d 1214, 1220 (11th Cir. 1999).
My point is that it doesn't make any sense to characterize a judge as "pro- or anti-" anything unless you look at the legal issues in question.