The Two Questions the Senate Should Have Asked Judge Alito

As a long time observer of how Supreme Court nominees evade questions, I think the Judiciary Committee could have saved a lot of time by simply asking Judge Samuel Alito the following two questions:

1. Judge Alito, would you tell the Committee what is the criteria you are adopting to determine when you will choose not to answer certain questions put to you either orally or in written form?

2. Sitting Supreme Court Justices often have made public speeches, written articles, taught law school classes and, in the case of Justices Scalia and Breyer, have even debated publicly at the law school of American University. Justices have expressed opinions and made comments about a variety of controversial legal issues. In so doing, they have not concluded that these public expressions, sometimes followed by questions from the audience, compelled them either to recuse themselves in cases before them or to consider themselves prejudging these matters pending or likely to come to the Court in the future.

What is your opinion of these speaking, writing and teaching practices in this context?


Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!