January 20, 2006
More on filibustering Alito
Look, over there—a Democrat with a spine:
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced Thursday he will vote against Judge Sam Alito for the U.S. Supreme Court. And he said so many other senators intensely oppose Alito that they may have enough votes to sustain a filibuster against the conservative jurist.
“In case after case, he has voted – often as the lone dissenter on his court – against the dispossessed, the poor and the powerless who finally made their way to his court,” Durbin said.
He didn’t like what he considered Alito’s vague, noncommittal answers – during Senate hearings – about abortion and presidential power “to eavesdrop on our phone conversations” and “to seize American citizens and to imprison them indefinitely without charge.”
… As the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, it’s Durbin’s job to count votes for and against Alito. He said he won’t know until Tuesday if there are enough strong opponents to filibuster Alito’s nomination.
“A week ago, I would have told you it’s not likely to happen,” Durbin said. “As of [Wednesday], I just can’t rule it out. I was surprised by the intensity of feeling of some of my colleagues. It’s a matter of counting. We have 45 Democrats, counting [Vermont independent] Jim Jeffords, on our side. We could sustain a filibuster if 41 senators ... are willing to stand and fight.”
And there’s the rub.
More on Alito’s record here.
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