There are nine stories worth telling in the now naked city of Washington, D.C. after that last brutal week at the High Court. Samuel and Martha-Ann Alito’s is foremost, as he/him/his shared worst in show along with his brother Clarence Thomas. And in the week previous to last Samuel even topped Clarence. Not for violating ethical rules that apply to the entire federal judiciary – where Justice Thomas is GOAT – but with the ludicrous justification Alito preemptively made in the Wall Street Journal for accepting and failing to report his seat on a private plane to a fishing junket in Alaska, with a billionaire whose causes are regularly adjudicated by SCOTUS. That seat, which would have cost anyone $ tens of thousands, had no monetary value, as per Alito J., because it otherwise would have been empty. Assuming that Thomas or big game hunter Antonin Scalia, of blessed memory, didn’t then fill it. Listen closely my children to Alito, who is making rules you must live by and some women have and will die by. Respect the legal pronouncements of a man who made that one about his own conduct.
We digressed from and now return to the promised story, in which Alito she/her/hers played the leading and dispositive role. When on Halloween 2005 Judge Alito of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was nominated by Bush 43 for the SCOTUS bench, he stood no better than a 50-50 chance of confirmation. His nomination to fill the seat to be vacated by Sandra Day O’Connor followed President Bush pulling his and Ms. Bush’s first choice, White House Counsel Harriet Miers, after demands from the then right wing of the Republican establishment. The anti-Miers campaign was overtly orchestrated by Lindsey Graham and covertly by Leonard Leo. It had been reported that in her interview with then Republican Arlen Specter, Miers assured the pro-choice Senator that she supported the constitutional “right to privacy,” the foundation for Roe v. Wade. As the right demanded, Miers got the hook. Enter Alito, with Democrats and moderate Republicans ready and opposed. Before hearings began, Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee, cited Alito’s writing and record as antagonistic to choice, the environment and “the Bill of Rights” and stated he would vote “no.” Senator Obama decried the lost opportunity to replace O’Connor with another moderate. Senator John Kerry saw Alito as a Scalia clone. Alito was opposed by NARAL and the National Association of Women Lawyers.
I, then known to the Judiciary Committee as a frequent witness, including during previous SCOTUS nominations, sent Chuck Shumer a plan to reveal the true Alito to America. Similar to the one we had used during the confirmation hearings for Judge Robert Bork in 1987. As the hearing began Alito was under heavy attack and defended himself poorly.
He used rationalizations similar to those in last month’s Wall Street Journal defense. Such as his explanation for failing to recuse himself from cases involving the Vanguard mutual fund, as he had promised during his confirmation hearings for the Third Circuit. He was asked about his membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton (“CAP”) that he had listed as a “qualification” when applying for a position in the Reagan Department of Justice. CAP’s members were visionaries, creating their own Ivy League version of the Great Replacement Conspiracy theory well before it was adopted by Anti-Semites and White Supremacists. CAP opposed admitting to Princeton an equal number of women as men and also opposed recruitment of minority (black) students. At his confirmation hearings Alito repeatedly professed no knowledge of the organization he spotlighted to get a job in the Reagan DOJ.
Alito was also grilled about his Third Circuit decision in Doe v. Groody that reversed a district court which held that the strip search of a 10-year-old girl by 4 police officers might violate her constitutional rights. Chuck Schumer read verbatim from another part of Alito’s 1985 “Personal Qualification Statement” to the DOJ that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” This statement coming at a time that SCOTUS had repeatedly held that the Constitution did precisely that.
Republication Senator Mike DeWine went after Alito on his antitrust record generally and specifically his dissent in 3M v. LePage, which rejected settled antitrust precedents and reasoning. These were among the attack points I had sent to Schumer. Alito’s response was a Sam Cooke – like “Don’t know much about Antitrust.”
And when Ted Kennedy returned to Alito’s membership in CAP, Lindsey Graham sprang to his defense, telling Alito that the Democrats are accusing you of being “a bigot.” Whereupon Martha-Ann Alito seated behind Sam began to theatrically weep – so profusely that she had to leave the hearing room. That night Fox News’ Megyn Kelly proclaimed that Martha-Ann was “crying hysterically after Ted Kennedy made her cry, because he was suggesting Sam Alito . . . is a racist.” I’ll never forget Mrs. Alito crying. It was a terrible moment. It was a new low in the Senate Judiciary Committee.” And other news outlets picked up the theme, though not as counterfactually as Kelly, who failed to note that it was Graham’s not Kennedy’s comments that unleashed the floodgates in Ms. Alito’s tear ducts.
After that, the Democrats wimped out and away, as they generally do, refusing to press Alito about the many disturbing tendencies that have come to full fruition in his 17 years on the SCOTUS bench. The Democrats watched while the Republicans accused Professor Anita Hill of lying when she testified that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. The Democrats watched as the Republicans accused Professor Christine Blasey Ford of lying when she testified that Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her. And the Democrats watched while both men were confirmed.
But Democrats can’t stand being called “bullies” when the wife of a dissembling right wing operative conveniently bawls at the truth. Post-Alito confirmation, the Democrats have shown they’ve learned nothing about winning in the SCOTUS world. And now that they have Justice Alito on the ropes for clear ethical violation and his trump-like defense, Martha-Ann, “now’s the time for your tears.”
 “Dissemble” is a euphemism we lawyers are taught to use when pointing out that a judge is lying.
 With credit and thanks to Bob Dylan and his ballad “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol.”