The unflappable Alito gave his detractors little ammunition in days of testimony, offering a recitation of the facts of appellate court cases when Democrats sought personal opinions. He provided basic tenets that few would challenge - no president or court is above the law, court decisions on integration and privacy were correct, and the principle of one man, one vote, should prevail.Alito really did have a perfect strategy to win in his showdown with the Senators. And it wasn't devious or evasive. He insisted on talking about the issues they raised in the terms of a judge's careful legal analysis. This analysis tends to be rather tedious, even when you speak crisply and avoid any padding. Proceeding in this fashion, Alito looked smart and scrupulously judicial, yet he powerfully thwarted his opponents -- by boring us! The Alito hearings will stand as a model for how an unglamorous nominee -- a not-Roberts -- can prevail.
Senators were unable to elicit much more even though Alito had a long paper trail from the appellate court....
Senators pressed Alito on executive power, particularly in light of the revelation that Bush had secretly authorized the National Security Agency to wiretap Americans as part of the fight against terrorism. The nominee spoke of constitutional authority and congressional prerogatives, but he gave no hints of how he might rule.
January 15, 2006
The AP's Donna Cassata sums up the Alito hearings quite aptly: