IU Media Relations
IU School of Law-Bloomington
EDITORS: Judge Samuel Alito was nominated today (Oct. 31) by President George W. Bush to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Several Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington faculty members with notable expertise on the Supreme Court and the American legal system weighed in on the nomination.
Charles Geyh, professor of law, Charles Whistler faculty fellow and author of the forthcoming book When Courts and Congress Collide: The Struggle for Control of America's Judicial System (University of Michigan Press, 2006): "By nominating Judge Alito, President Bush has selected someone who will join Justices Scalia and Thomas as a prominent and reliable conservative voice on the court. In so doing, the president has genuflected to his political base, which had been furious with the Miers nomination, and has thumbed his nose at Senate Democrats, who were hoping for a consensus nominee and may well see this as a declaration of ideological war. I'm quite concerned about the consequences of the nomination for the appointments process itself, which could collapse under the weight of a bruising confirmation battle, in which Senate Democrats filibuster and Republicans respond with the so-called 'nuclear option,' leading the Democrats to retaliate in other ways." Geyh can be reached at 812-855-3210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Bradley, James L. Calamaras Professor of Law, former clerk for William H. Rehnquist and editor and co-author of The Rehnquist Legacy (Cambridge University Press, 2005): "Alito is everything Miers was not -- an experienced judge with an impressive background and strong conservative credentials. The question is whether he can get by the Democrats and the moderate Republicans." Bradley can be reached at 812-855-1257 or email@example.com.
Joseph Hoffmann, Harry Pratter Professor of Law and a former clerk for William H. Rehnquist: "The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito answers the objections of both the left and the right to the nomination of Harriet Miers. Alito is extremely well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, thus avoiding the charge of 'cronyism' leveled against Miers by the left. At the same time, Alito is a strong conservative who cannot be criticized by the right as a 'stealth candidate' in the Miers mold. If there is a fight over Alito, then, it will be on very different terms. Barring some unforeseen and damaging revelation, the only thing that can prevent Alito from reaching the Supreme Court will be if the left can manage to portray his conservatism as extremism. In other words, can Alito be 'Borked'?" Hoffmann can be reached at 812-345-1520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dawn Johnsen, professor of law and former acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice: "With Judge Alito, President Bush has fulfilled his promise of a nominee in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas. This nomination threatens Americans' cherished constitutional rights and liberties. If confirmed, Alito unquestionably would move the court dramatically to the right." Johnsen can be reached at 812-856-4984 or email@example.com.