The Denver Post reports that Sen. Ken Salazar isn't saying
how he will vote on Samuel Alito's nomination for the Supreme Court. One analyst cited believes he will vote for Alito, another says he will vote against him.
The positive news is that Salazar is keeping track of how his constituents want him to vote:
Calls to Salazar's office from constituents were running about evenly pro- and anti-Alito, said spokesman Cody Wertz.
Since the vote has been postponed for a week, that means there is still time for you to weigh in with the Senator. You can call him and leave a voicemail at (202) 224-5852 or send a fax to (202) 228-5036. E-mail is less effective.
The choice issue may be the most important one to Sen. Salazar, but it is not the only one.
[Floyd] Ciruli said Salazar must weigh knowing that despite Colorado's Republican leanings, 60 percent to 65 percent of voters believe the right to abortion should be constitutionally protected. However, there's no polling data revealing whether those voters believe it should be an issue that should keep a nominee off the Supreme Court.
I think Senator Salazar can be persuaded to vote against Alito. He was very troubled by John Roberts' past views on the rights of women and minorities. But after meeting with Roberts a second time, he became convinced he would be fair. Salazar was not similarly impressed by his meeting with Alito. In addition,
Alito refused to say at his confirmation hearing that Roe v. Wade was settled law.
He admitted belonging to a group in college that advocated discrimination against women and minorities
His views on presidential power show that he believes the President can trump the laws of Congress, and possibly, the Constitution.
Sen. Salazar has been vocal in his criticism of the Patriot Act. He has demonstrated his concern for civil liberties. He is pro-choice and a strong backer of minority rights. It's hard to see what he doesn't object to in Judge Alito -- except his law and order stance.
There's no question that Judge Alito will be confirmed. But we elect our Senators expecting them to vote in our best interests. A "no" vote sends a message. So if you oppose Alito, call Sen. Salazar and let him know.