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Monday, January 09, 2006

Senators' Code Translations

Here are a few excerpts from senators' opening statements in the Alito confirmation hearings. Because these senators often speak in code, I have translated these excerpts so that their meaning is clear.


Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.:

''The challenge for Judge Alito in the course of these hearings is to demonstrate that he will protect the rights and liberties of all Americans (Translation: will vote to protect Roe v. Wade, will vote against allowing public prayer and any public display of religion - especially Christianity, will vote to continue allowing college admissions based on quotas rather than on qualifications, etc.).''


Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.:

Judge Alito, millions of Americans (Translation: millions of liberal Americans) are very concerned about your nomination. They are worried that you would be a judicial activist who would restrict our rights and freedoms (Translation: would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, would vote to allow public prayer and other public displays of religion , would vote to expect people to meet certain standards for college admissions rather than allowing admissions based on quotas, etc.).''


Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.:

''While every Supreme Court nominee has a great burden, yours, Judge Alito, is triply high. First, because you have been named to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the pivotal swing vote on a divided court (Translation: the vote we liberals could count on to swing decisions in our favor); second, because you have been picked to placate the extreme right wing (Translation: conservatives) after the hasty withdrawal of Harriet Miers; and, finally, because your record of opinions and statements on a number of critical Constitutional questions seems quite extreme (Translation: is not liberal enough for my liking)."


Keep a sharp ear for more code during these hearings. There will be plenty of it.

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