David S. Broder is disturbed by the possibility that Judge Samuel Alito will be a "company man."
Last week's hearings reaffirmed Alito's 15-year record on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. He will construe the Constitution and statutes narrowly, and sometimes literally, and waste no sympathy on people who come to court hoping for a more expansive or generous interpretation of their rights.
What the left can't, or won't, understand is that conservatives and libertarians actually want judges that won't rule with an agenda. Even if the agenda suits conservative goals. Construing the Constitution "narrowly, and sometimes literally" is second, in the conservative mind, only to always literally. Liberals project their desire for a court that will bend the law and provide ready-made "expansive or generous" rulings, onto conservatives. But despite the worst projected fears of liberals, conservatives don't want to win in the courts, they want to win in the arena of ideas. For conservatives, a company man is not someone who votes the "right" way, it's someone who votes the correct way: by the letter of the law.
If Broder's fears turn out to be well founded then Alito is the man for me.