Bench Memos

Congratulations, President Bush!

In selecting Third Circuit judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. for the Supreme Court, President Bush has made a truly outstanding nomination that deserves widespread acclaim. By any objective criteria, it is doubtful that there is anyone now or in recent decades (yes, not even Chief Justice Roberts) whose experience and qualifications better prepare him for the Supreme Court.

Judge Alito’s entire career since graduating from Yale Law School in the mid-1970s has been devoted to public service in the law. His range of experience dealing with difficult questions of federal law is unmatched. After a prestigious clerkship on the Third Circuit, he worked as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey for four years. Then, as assistant to the Solicitor General, he briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court for four years. He next served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel—the office that was previously headed by Rehnquist and Scalia and that advises the White House Counsel’s office and the entire executive branch on the proper meaning of the Constitution and other federal law. In 1987, Alito became United States Attorney in New Jersey. In that capacity, he was responsible for all federal prosecutions in New Jersey for three years (including the successful prosecution of a Libyan-sponsored terrorist who planned to attack various New York targets). And for the past 15 years, Alito has served with great distinction on the Third Circuit.

Just as the Left attacked Roberts, it will attack Alito. But President Bush has again selected an outstanding nominee whose intellect, character, experience, and, not least, proper understanding of the role of the courts will earn the deep respect of the American people and of all fair-minded observers.

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More