Sen. Wayne Allard has an op-ed in today’s Pueblo Chieftain arguing for the confirmation of Judge Sam Alito. I think at least one of the reasons he gives for supporting Alito is a reason to vote against him. Allard writes:
He recognizes the limited role of the judiciary.
That’s precisely the problem. Alito will upset our system of checks and balances because of his extreme view on executive power. As Sen. Salazar said,
I believe Judge Alito’s judicial philosophy will also dangerously increase Executive power, injuring the checks and balances built into our Constitution that protect all of us. ….
The Framers of our Constitution were geniuses, they created a legal structure for our country that has endured and prospered for more than two centuries. ….Out of their geniuses, the Framers created a system of checks and balances. The Framers made rules that require that power must be shared. They created a system with three coequal branches. They then distributed the powers of government among and within the three branches. They created a system with explicit and implicit limits for the powers of each branch. They created a system where the people who govern the United States are in constant tension with and against each other, always limiting and checking excesses that are all too human.
I think Alito’s judicial philosophy will diminish our system of checks and balances. He will expand the powers of the executive branch to an extent that is dangerous to us all. I believe that Alito would grant the executive the power to overwhelm the Congressional and Judicial branches.
Allard’s other reasons are not in dispute but they are beside the point. Alito may be qualified and possess good judicial temperment. He has been a career public servant. That is not the litmus test for a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court. As New Mexico Sen. Jeff Bingaman said:
At a time when the President has asserted expansive powers with regard to imprisoning U.S. citizens without charge, wiretapping without warrants, and using interrogation techniques that amount to torture, it is essential that we have justices on the Supreme Court that are willing to provide a check on the authority of the Executive Branch.
Colorado bloggers have been trying to get through to Sen. Salazar all weekend. In frustration, one blogger has posted an open letter to him.