I welcome hearing something more substantial about the man than that people call him "Scalito" to signify his similarity to Scalia and because his last name is similar enough to Scalia that people just can't hear "Alito" without wanting to say "Scalito."
Alito: refer to him as Scalito.That is an entry that belongs in a modern "Dictionary of Received Ideas." A side benefit of his nomination would be that people might -- eventually -- get over that mental tic.
What we're most likely to be talking about reflexively -- as we always must with a Supreme Court nomination -- is abortion, and we have one very hot fact about Alito:
In the early 1990s, Alito was the lone dissenter in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a case in which the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that included a provision requiring women seeking abortions to notify their spouses.What are we to think of his respect for the role of the legislature that claims to know better than an individual woman how well or badly things will go if her husband learns that she plans to have an abortion?
"The Pennsylvania legislature could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands' knowledge because of perceived problems - such as economic constraints, future plans or the husbands' previously expressed opposition - that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion," Alito wrote.
The case ended up at the Supreme Court where the justices, in a 6-3 decision struck down the spousal notification provision of the law. The late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist cited Alito's reasoning in his own dissent.
UPDATE: Here's the CNN report, which includes the line:
Legal experts consider the 55-year-old Alito so ideologically similar to Justice Antonin Scalia that he has earned the nickname "Scalito."Oh, yes, legal experts. And you know, of course, they say it because they really have made a close study of the work of the two men and discerned a precise ideological similarity. Because legal experts wouldn't just reflexively mouth a meme.
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and please come over to this more recent post for my discussion of why Alito is a stronger nominee than John Roberts.