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Alito Hearing Set For Low Drama

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito begin today on the Hill. Democrats have been making noise about delaying or filibustering the eventual vote, but new polling indicates that the public overwhelmingly supports the Alito nomination. The numbers are right in line with those Chief Justice Roberts had at the same point, and as much as the far left may despair the whole process is loaded up to go just as smoothly for Alito.

From the story on the ABC News/Washington Post poll:

Six in 10 Americans plan to tune in to the Senate confirmation hearings that start today for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito, and his supporters continue to outnumber his opponents by about a 2-1 ratio.

Fifty-three percent of Americans want the Senate to confirm Alito to the Supreme Court, 27 percent oppose his confirmation, and 20 percent are undecided. Support for Alito has not changed substantially from when his nomination was first announced in late October; in terms of public sentiment, he's in about the same position as John Roberts was at the opening of his hearings to become chief justice.

Interest in the Alito hearings is also in line with early interest in the Roberts' nomination: Sixty percent plan to pay close attention to the Senate proceedings, with about one in five saying they'll be following them "very closely." Among the reasons people are likely to tune in is to hear what, if anything, Alito may say about abortion-rights cases, particularly the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Direct of Judge Alito probably won't begin until Tuesday.

The Washington Post's Campaign for the Supreme Court blog will be doing live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Alito hearings. First up Chairman Specter's opening remarks...


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Comments (9)

Six in 10 Americans plan... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor:

Six in 10 Americans plan to tune in to the Senate confirmation hearings that start today

There's a difference between "tune in" and "check up on occasionally over the internet," which is what I bet most of those people mean.

You got that right. If ther... (Below threshold)
mojo:

You got that right. If there's anything more time-wasting than watching Senators bloviate, I don't know what it is. Wake me when somebody makes a decision.

"but new polling indicates ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"but new polling indicates that the public overwhelmingly supports the Alito nomination"

"Fifty-three percent of Americans want the Senate to confirm Alito to the Supreme Court"

This kind of sounds like the 51% mandate thing.

jp2,How much more ... (Below threshold)
LoadTheMule:

jp2,

How much more than 53% would satisfy you?

Btw, just so you know: The noun 'mandate', even in a political sense, carries no hint of anything approaching an overwhelming number or percentage. A 'mandate is simply an authorization to act given to a representative.

Regards...

I'd say "overwhelming" woul... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I'd say "overwhelming" would have to be greater than 3/4. Not 3%.

I agree with your take on mandate. That's why I found it hilarious that Bush took it the way he did.

That's why I found it hi... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

That's why I found it hilarious that Bush took it the way he did.

As opposed to the "mandate for change?"


Jp2. When the pro-Alito sid... (Below threshold)

Jp2. When the pro-Alito side outnumbers the anti-Alito side by more than 2-1, that sounds overwhelming. The only way it doesn't is if you lump the people that don't care or don't know in with the opposition. This is like an election, in that the people who won't take action aren't really a factor.

Bottomline is that 53% isn'... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Bottomline is that 53% isn't overwhelming. But really, who cares about that? This guy is overwhelmingly conservative judge with (surprise) a history of moral mistakes and will limit our civil liberties. I hope that will be covered in the hearing. Then maybe Bush will get a third try after conservatives shot down his first judge.

Jp2, that is the best impre... (Below threshold)

Jp2, that is the best impression of Charlie Brown's teacher I've seen in a while




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