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What Would Alito Do?
Matt Welch turns the tables in Reason:

The year is 2009. President Hillary Clinton introduces a nationalized healthcare package, which she assembled after conducting a dozen secret meetings in the White House with George Soros, Big Labor, and unknown representatives from industry groups who stand to make a bundle. Judicial Watch files a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the minutes of the meetings. Clinton refuses, citing her Executive Privilege to hold private and confidential conversations about most anything she chooses. The case goes to the Supreme Court.

How would Samuel Alito vote?

President Al Gore, in a major speech on "the terrorism of child pornography," orders the Attorney General to use "all the same tools of the War on Terror" in the new crackdown against online smut-peddlers. Soon after, American citizen Jose Blow is detained on "suspicion of planning a snuff film," and is held indefinitely, without charge, and without access to a lawyer. President Gore says Blow will be detained until authorities can extract all possible "information about the kiddie-porn ring." The ACLU files a challenge.

How would Alito vote?

A good rule of thumb when weighing the wisdom of a high-voltage appointment, or fundamental shift in governance, is how that re-balancing of power will affect things when the other team's in charge. Because some other team will be in charge some day, and they will find their own unique opportunities to abuse whatever power they inherit.

...Even if you agree with the administration's conduct in the War on Terror—down to the pre-pubescent notion that any crime-fighting policy, let alone the possibly illegal surveillance of Americans, can be assessed using the up-or-down scale of whether "we're serious about fighting the war on terror"—imagine those expanded powers in the hands of, say, John Kerry. Or John McCain.

Posted by aalkon at January 19, 2006 8:01 AM

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