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Ralph Neas et al: Whistling Past the Graveyard of Their Influence

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Judge Alito is doing very well in his meetings with senators. The “groups” on the far left margin of judicial politics are putting on a brave face:

[A]ctivists tried to play down any progress Alito is making in creating a favorable impression during his rounds on Capitol Hill, saying they hope only to keep pressure on senators to remain open-minded until the hearing, during which they believe Alito’s fate will be decided.

“In most cases, a candidate enjoys a honeymoon period after the nomination,” said Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, which was instrumental in torpedoing Robert H. Bork’s 1987 Supreme Court nomination. Next week, the alliance plans to launch a multi-pronged campaign against Alito, which will include television ads and a wide range of grass-roots events.

“I think right now what you’re looking at is not whether or not the opposition will build or exist, but rather when that opposition will be announced with sufficient critical mass to indicate the battle has been joined,” said Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. “This is in the process of developing.”

Given that confirmation hearings are two months away, Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way, said his plan is to slowly marshal opposition to Alito. He pointed out that the opposition that derailed Bork and nearly did the same to Clarence Thomas coalesced just before their respective hearings.

“I wouldn’t put too much stock in the first week of courtesy calls,” Neas said.

I know, Ralph. You’ve got him just where you want him. All these years to prepare, and you can’t even get a senator to say tough things in public.


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Friends and Allies of Rome