Less than a week after the extreme right slapped him in the face, Bush has apparently done penance at their altar by nominating Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. I’m going to wait for more details but note that one conservative told NPR he was a “grand slam” for the right wing and at least one unnamed Democrat described Alito as a “right wing wacko.”
Notably, when his ilk torpedoed the Harriet Miers nomination, Sen. John Thune quickly chanted their mantra of needing a Supreme Court nominee “in the mold of Justices [Antonin] Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas.” In light of that view and the reports that Alito’s nickname is “Scalito,” let’s see what these two justices want for this country.
- Each state can establish its own religion. Thomas concurring in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004).
- Police officers would no longer be required to inform arrestees of their Miranda rights prior to custodial interrogation. Scalia and Thomas dissenting in Dickerson v. United States (2000).
- The mentally retarded would be subject to capital punishment. Scalia and Thomas dissenting in Atkins v. Virginia (2002).
- In detaining American citizens claimed to be enemy combatants, “due process requires nothing more than a good-faith executive determination.” Thomas dissenting in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004).
- Beating and kicking a handcuffed and shackled prison inmate so as to cause bruising and swelling of the face, mouth, and lip, loosen his teeth and cracked his partial dental plate is not cruel and unusual punishment. Scalia and Thomas dissenting in Hudson v. McMillian (1992).
- Improper and unnecessary institutionalization of persons with disabilities would not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thomas dissenting in Olmstead v. L.C. (1999).
- The Constitution does not recognize a general right of privacy. Thomas dissenting in Lawrence v. Texas (2003).
Welcome to John Thune’s vision of America, a vision that mandates we take great care in assessing Alito’s theories and approaches toward constitutional interpretation.
[E]ven assuming that the Establishment Clause precludes the Federal Government from establishing a national religion, it does not follow that the Clause created or protects any individual right.
Clarence Thomas, concurring in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004)