Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Judge Alito, Senator Kennedy, and playing the Lotto

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Judge Alito's Supreme Court nomination to the Senate floor by an entirely predictable, and entirely predicted, party line vote.

As this event shows, some future events can be predicted with near absolute certainty.

To cite another example, after they sacked the Panthers' quarterback eight times in a November game, it was a cinch and a certainty that the Chicago Bears would whup Carolina when they met again in the NFL playoffs.

Oh, wait, that one didn't work....

Well, to pull up another quick example, with a payroll in excess of $200 million, it was a foregone conclusion that the New York Yankees would steamroll over the American League and then destroy the National League representative in this past year's World Series.

Oh, wait, that one didn't work either....

Nevertheless, in announcing against Judge Alito, Senator Ted Kennedy predicted that Judge Alito would become a pro-administration stooge if confirmed to the Supreme Court. He said, "The record demonstrates that we cannot count on Judge Alito to blow the whistle when the president is out of bounds. He is a long-standing advocate for expanding executive power, even at the expense of core individual liberties."

And it might happen.

But don't bet on it. Life tenure with no hope (or fear) of promotion can change a person. As wartime Governor of California, Earl Warren ordered the internment of Japanese-Americans. Hugo Black was a member of the KKK. John Paul Stevens was appointed by Gerald Ford. Earl Warren was appointed by Dwight Eisenhower. Neither expected that their nominee would become a liberal icon.

Predicting the future is not easy, no matter what the Democrats (or the Republicans) on the Senate Judiciary Committee may think. If it were, we'd all win the Lotto every week, or at least every other.

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