A few quick reactions to Alito
1. I was just listening to NPR, and they interviewed a number of judges who sat with him on the 3d CIrcuit, and made no bones about their being liberal and he conservative, but all agreed that he was very intellectually honest, very intelligent, and great to work with. One commentator was in opposition, and about all he could argue was that Demos should make this a contest, not over qualifications, but over his politics/philosophy, over "do we want the Court to move to the right." The rejoinder was simple: the Court isn't supposed to be a policy-setting, a political, institution. Unless you can argue he is results-oriented, that argument doesn't hold much water.
[UPDATE: The Demos are following that playbook. "[Ted] Kennedy complained the nomination of Samuel Alito would push the court "dangerously to the right"." "Senator Kerry questioned the President's motives in a statement, asking "Has the right wing now forced a weakened President to nominate a divisive justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia?""]
2. Got a suggestion from Matt Margolis that Republicans among us might send a donation to GOP with a note thanking them for having given up on Meirs. here's a webpage to do that. And here's one explaining the idea.
3. Publicola would have preferred Kozinski -- as would I.
4. The Brady Campaign is already out with a press release, calling him "Machine gun Sammy," over his dissent arguing 922(o) is unconstitutional. ""Judge Alito's ludicrous machine gun decision is bad enough. But it also indicates that a Justice Alito would attempt to prevent Congress from passing other laws to protect Americans from gun violence," said Michael D. Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign. "If Judge Alito had his way, the federal machine gun ban would have been struck down as unconstitutional, and the private possession of these weapons would have become legal."" I like the guy even more, now!
[Yeah, I know, possession isn't illegal even after 922(o), but this is Brady Campaign pitching it to the media, so the first doesn't care about what's true and, come to think of it, neither does the second).
5. I suspect the Meirs matter has really awakened the GOP to blogging and the internet. I've gotten four or five emails pitching Alito from them already. And I'm not even registered as a Republican!
6. Here's the most comprehensive posting I've seen on the nominee.