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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Democrats' problem is that Alito seems OK

Trying as hard as they could, Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee simply couldn't get a toe hold from which to seriously challenge Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After stumbling badly when he nominated White House legal counsel Harriet Miers to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, President Bush did his homework on Judge Alito after Ms. Miers withdrew.

He's more than likely going to be a conservative judge, and he's more than likely going to help reverse some national trends, but that doesn't give Democrats ammunition to stall confirmation much longer. Thus, the Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Judge Alito on Jan. 24.

Not only is Judge Alito a shoo-in for clearing the committee, he's sure to get some Democratic votes in the full Senate.

The hearings were bruising at times, but there is no way for the Senate to fulfill this constitutional duty without being tough. In politics as in sports, you win some, you lose some. Democrats lost this fight and might as well move on. Who won and who lost, however, should be elevated above the victory of Republicans having pushed through a conservative judge.

Hopefully, the nation will benefit from what his peers say is a brilliant legal mind and a commitment to justice. That's not always the case when a new justice comes aboard.

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