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supreme surprise

you can’t ever predict what people will do once they get a seat on the supreme court, as i’ve mentioned before.

and now, in his first act as a supreme court judge, samuel alito has pissed off the conservatives.

another breyer? too soon to tell. but i’m loving every minute of this. and it’s a reminder to all of the wailing-and-moaning democrats who wanted to filibuster this nominee…unless there are egregious and obvious circumstances (like, for instance, clarence thomas), let the president have his pick.

when’s the last time someone turned out to be more conservative than we thought they were?

never, that’s when.

everyone who is knee-jerk conservative on the court (scalia, scalia’s legal assistant thomas, and now, it appears, roberts) you suspected would be conservative, so no loss there.

and plenty of people who you thought would be conservative turned out to be not so much (breyer) or they got more liberal as the years wore on (o’connor).

a lifetime appointment to the supreme court gives a person unfettered intellectual freedom answerable to no one. and that can lead down some surprising paths.

most of those paths being usually pretty good ones.

is alito a closet liberal? i doubt it. is he going to be arch-conservative? i doubt that too.

i think he may be more liberal than the political right wanted, and just liberal enough not to get the republican party as a whole into political hot water. overturning roe vs. wade would be a political disaster for the republicans, and they know it.

and, under the circumstances, i’ll take that.

go alito! at least, i hope so.