A number of popular liberal blogs are portraying Alito as a right-wing nut, and are predicting that his confirmation hearings will be the Mother of All Confirmation Hearings. Here is the Daily Kos in a post entitled "The Showdown Finally Arrives":[T]he Right refused to accept Bush's winks and nods on Miers. They didn't just want a conservative jurist. They wanted a showcase of conservatism they could shove down the throats of the likes of us liberals and the rest of America. They wanted one of those obnoxious touchdown dances.This initial reaction is to be expected, as I noted earlier today. But Alito is very far from this caricature, and it won't take people long to realize that. Reading over Alito's opinions, the striking thing about them is how modest they are. Alito is not trying to score points, make grand ideological claims, or show the world how smart he is. His opinions are simple and straightforward: they state the facts, apply the law, and call it a day. Don't get me wrong - Alito is a solid conservative. But if he were the kind of ideological crusader Kos imagines, Alito's 15-year career as an appellate judge would have left a mile-long paper trail of controversial decisions. The fact that you're not hearing about that long paper trail of controversial decisions should speak volumes.
Now we have a true-blood conservative on tap, and this now sets up the showdown of ideas that I think we've all craved. Thanks to Miers, ideology is now absolutely open to debate, and it's now time for America to see what conservatism really looks like. . . .
. . . As the usual vetting process gets underway and people research his background, his writings, his speeches, and the testimony of colleagues, we'll get an even more complete picture of the man. But it's already obvious that the nuts got exactly what they wanted - a nut. Scalito is everything they hoped for and more.
October 31, 2005
About that caricature the left is painting of Alito
Ditto what Orin Kerr said at The Volokh Conspiracy: