From left: Civil right attorney Fred Gray; former president of NARAL Kate Michelman; professor Ronald Sullivan; and professor Amanda Frost testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Judge Samuel Alito, Jan. 13, 2006.
The Senate Judiciary Committee concluded a week of hearings on the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito on Friday with testimony from witnesses for and against the Supreme Court nominee. The panels included advocates, judges and former Alito law clerks and colleagues.
Supporters praised Alito's judiciousness and open-minded approach to cases. Opponents expressed concern about the nominee's respect for civil liberties and privacy rights and what they see as his overly deferential view toward the presidency regarding the authority of the chief executive.
A Judge in Whose Mold?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked one set of panelists which past Supreme Court justice they thought Alito would resemble if he is confirmed to the high court. Many said his approach would likely follow that of current conservative justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. One panelist mentioned Justice John Marshall Harlan (1899–1971), the intellectual leader of the conservatives on the Warren Court, while another pointed to Justice Robert Jackson (1892-1954), an advocate of judicial restraint.