Iowa’s two U.S. Senators — one’s a Democrat and one’s a Republican — are offering different assessments of President Bush’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. But both say it’s too early to say whether they’ll vote to confirm New Jersey judge Samuel Alito to a seat on the nation’s highest court.
Grassley, the Republican, points to the experience of John Roberts, Bush’s pick to be chief justice of that court. Grassley says the expectation was that Roberts would face a tough confirmation fight, but his performance during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing “That’s why I reserve judgment, to see how (Alito) answers questions,” Grassley says. Grassley is a member of the Judiciary Committee, and will get to question Alito in the open hearing.
In a prepared statement, Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, did not say he would oppose Alito, but Harkin said the withdrawal of Harriet Miers and the advancement of Alito for a life-time job on the Supreme Court is “unsettling” — that’s Harkin’s word — because it shows the President is “completely beholden” to the far right. Harkin said Alito was in for “some tough questioning” to determine whether he would “impose a right wing ideology on the nation.”