Bench Memos

Are Florida Voters Stupid?

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida evidently thinks so and seems to be counting on it for his re-election this November. At the very time that his Democratic colleagues are opposing Judge Alito on the ground that they believe (I sure hope they’re right) that he will be like Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas, Nelson pretended in his floor statement yesterday that he was concerned that Alito would not be with Scalia and Thomas on the Takings Clause issue presented in last year’s controversial Kelo ruling:

“I explained how a recent Supreme Court decision has frightened many of our constituents who fear that their homes can now be seized by the government to make way for a private developer’s project. And while he expressed sympathy for the parties whose homes had been seized in this personal meeting with him, he offered no misgivings about the legal reasoning that led to that outcome.”

I don’t doubt that Alito, consistent with his practice of not offering comments on issues that might come before the Court, “offered no misgivings” about the majority’s reasoning in Kelo. But, as Paul Mirengoff of Power Line points out, it is absurd for Nelson to suggest (and to expect his constituents to believe) that his opposition to Alito is driven by concern that Alito would not be with Scalia and Thomas on this issue.

(Thanks to Sean Rushton for uncovering this nugget.)

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