10:00 am EST - 11:30 am EST

Past Event

Scrutinizing Judge Alito: Does the Process Work?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

10:00 am - 11:30 am EST

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

The stakes are extremely high as federal appeals court Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. continues to face U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee scrutiny as would-be successor to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The Supreme Court’s liberal-conservative balance is at a tipping point on issues ranging from abortion, affirmative action and religion to the President’s claims of sweeping war powers. And the confirmation battle now raging is akin to a presidential election campaign, with opposing interest groups spending millions on television ads and the air thick with learned analyses and dueling distortions.

On Jan. 17, 2006, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion of the Alito battle and what it says about the state of the confirmation process. This forum was the eighth in an ongoing series of public discussions sponsored by the Brookings Governance Studies Program’s Judicial Issues Forum.

Stuart Taylor, Jr., a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings and a writer for National Journal and Newsweek, moderated the panel. Ralph Neas, President and CEO of People for the American Way, and Adam Ciongoli, a former law clerk to Alito and counselor to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, offered differing perspectives on Alito and the state of the confirmation process. Brookings senior fellow Sarah Binder put the current battle into historical context with insights into the relationship between Congress and the Court. And Benjamin Wittes, an editorial writer at The Washington Post, discussed the current climate of confirmation hearings.