Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Judge Alito is one of the most distinguished individuals to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court. His qualifications are beyond reproach. As a judge, he has compiled a long track record showing he is a strict constructionist. With this choice President Bush continues to fulfill his campaign promise to appoint strict constructionists to the Supreme Court.
“The American people have rejected liberal judicial activism from the federal bench. I believe some of the over-the-top criticisms from some Democrat Senators are the result of frustration with the fact President Bush, through the ballot box, earned the right to select a Supreme Court nominee. These criticisms speak more to some Democratic Senators problems with the president than they do with the nominee.
“John Roberts was a home run by the President and he will serve the country well for decades to come. The nomination of Judge Alito is equally impressive in terms of his qualifications and judicial philosophy which are very much in line with what the American people embraced in the last presidential election.
“Efforts to filibuster this nomination based on his conservative judicial philosophy will only serve to weaken all three branches of our government. Filibusters based on ideology or judicial philosophy, if utilized by both parties, will create a Middle East style of politics in the Senate.
“If that standard was used in the past, many conservatives would have surely filibustered Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsberg. They would have looked not at her qualifications, but rather her legal and political philosophy. From a subjective view, she was clearly out of the mainstream of American jurisprudence. I think liberals would have tried to apply such a standard to Justice [Antonin] Scalia who conservative views were well-known.
“When John Roberts was confirmed to his position as Chief Justice, he applauded the Senate for understanding the difference between politics and being a judge. I hope Senators understand that advising and consenting is different than selecting. None of us, through the process of advising and consenting, should invalidate the election giving the President the ability to nominate well-qualified judges consistent with their campaign promises to the American people.
“I’m hopeful the Senate will honor the results of the last election and give this well-qualified nominee a full and vigorous hearing followed by a fair up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. To do any less would result in long-term damage to the Presidency and the Senate.”