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Thursday, January 12, 2006
  Sen Biden Actually Says Something Smart At Alito Hearing
In perhaps the smartest thing said at this weeks Judge Alito hearings,Democratic Sen. Joe Biden said that the hearings serve little purpose and should probably be abandoned.

"The system's kind of broken," said Biden, a member of the Judiciary Committee considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito.

"Nominees now, Democrat and Republican nominees, come before the United States Congress and resolve not to let the people know what they think about the important issues," such as a president's authority to go to war, said Biden.

As the committee headed into its fourth day of hearings on the Alito nomination, Biden told NBC's "Today" show that a better solution might be to skip hearings and send nominations straight to the Senate floor for a vote.

"Just go to the Senate floor and debate the nominee's statements," the Delaware senator said, "instead of this game."

That was once standard practice. Until 1925, Supreme Court nominees were not expected to testify before a committee, and their nominations were sent straight to the floor, according to the Senate Historical Office.

Biden defended Democratic senators' questions about Alito's membership in a university group, Concerned Alumni of Princeton, known for its opposition to opening the school to women and bringing in more minorities. Alito's wife, Martha-Ann Bomgardner, was moved to tears during the hearing Wednesday because of questions concerning whether her husband held any bias against women or minorities.

"I take him at his word that he didn't know what the group stood for, but I'm required to ask him," Biden said. He said membership in the group raised questions about "how sensitive he is to the plight of women."

I guess he's setting the stage for more ACLU lawyers to become Supreme Court Judges.
 
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