Rhode Island Alito Supporters Meet With Senator Chafee
After meeting with members of Rhode Islanders for Judge Alito and the Rhode Island Judicial Confirmation Network on Friday afternoon, Senator Lincoln Chafee stated that still he has not taken a public position on how he would vote on the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, but that he has 99% of the information he needs, and will announce his position before the vote is taken, possibly by the middle of next week. Senator Chafee believes that it is unlikely that the nomination will be held up by a filibuster.
Eugene Bernardo of Rhode Islanders for Judge Alito praised Senator Chafee for taking his responsibilties seriously, looking at the nomination with a fair and open mind, and conducting a dignified process.
Joseph White, also of Rhode Islanders for Judge Alito, described the meeting with Senator Chafee as a “brainstorming session” with particular emphasis on the areas of constitutional law of importance to the Senator; the 1st amendment (interpretation of the the establishment clause), the 14th amendement, the commerce clause (finding an appropriate balance between what is and what is not regulated), and Roe v. Wade.
When asked about the particulars of the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation process, Senator Chafee responded that issues like the Concerned Alumni of Princeton “could have been dismissed more quickly” and more important issues, particularly constitutional issues, could have been discussed. (Senator Chafee produced a copy of the constitution from his jacket pocket at this point). Senator Chafee noted that some of his fellow Senators had done a good job, but a few had “gone off on filibusters, talking too much”.
Mr. White added that it was obvious Samuel Alito was very similar to John Roberts, who was confirmed by the Senate to the Supreme Court earlier this year, and that President Bush had done a great service for the American people by finding two great Supreme Court nominees.