Bench Memos

Today’s New York Times Editorial

I was wondering whether there was any point in commenting on yet another stupid editorial in the New York Times — this one advocating that Democrats filibuster the Alito nomination. James Taranto (of Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web) has spared me the task:

“I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part,” said Eric “Otter” Stratton in the classic 1978 film “Animal House.” Today’s lead editorial in the New York Times advocates just such an approach. The “situation” in this picture is the imminent confirmation of Justice-designate Samuel Alito:”It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public’s attention to the import of this nomination. . . . “Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster–particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito’s supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote. “A filibuster is a radical tool. It’s easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.” The Times is right about one thing, though: If there is to be a really futile and stupid gesture, Senate Democrats are just the guys to do it.

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