Alito would not have been our choice to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the court. It is understandable that, unlike now-Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., he may not win many Democratic votes. Conversely, there are no legitimate grounds to entertain a filibuster of this nominee, or to be overly shocked that he is the sort of justice Bush would select.
Bush never made any secret of his desire to put conservative jurists on the highest court, and he was elected to the presidency twice. One of the perks of the presidency, besides not having to sit through confirmation hearings, is shaping the Supreme Court. And one of the obligations of senators in the minority, after forcing a nominee to listen to them, is allowing the president’s nominee an up-or-down vote.