Thank you everyone who posted blog recs. Here's the crop: Legal Blog watch which links to several other recommended blogs, including Firedoglake, Black Prof, and the live SCOTUS blog.
Today, I was totally disgusted first by the American Bar Association, and then by the Federal Judge praise-fest for Alito. I had high hopes for the witnesses who were going to appear later in the day, but was somewhat disappointed with the anti-Alito crowd, whose very good arguments were drowned in a sea of right-wing blather.
Because the Repubs. want to come off as folksy, it's easy for them to dismiss the arguments of anyone who makes an even remotely sophisticated argument, such as the one by Liu, and then Senator Kennedy that most judges agree 90% of the time, and that the critics were focusing on the other 10% because those are the ones that are significant in revealing "judicial philosophy." The Repubs just wagged their heads and call it "cherry picking." Thus it was hard to expose the man for the right-winger that he is.
For me, the worst part of today's hearing was finally hearing exactly what Alito himself had to say, as his dissents and memos were discussed by Goodwin Liu, and by hearing those views defended in the Senate. For example, when confronted with Alito's 1984 memo in which he justified the shooting by police of an 8th grader who was unarmed and fleeing, Sen. Sessions in particular made the case for the "rights" of the police to do their job effectively, or words to that effect. The "greater interest" in the case of the kid getting shot was to keep allowing the cops to "protect US." How is it that people can say these things without alarm bells ringing for people? Who, exactly, does Sessions think is "US"anyway ?
The Republicans, on the other hand, had succeeded well in portraying the hearings themselves as just kinda silly and pointless, mean even. This seems especially true now that the corporate media coverage is focusing exclusively on the fact that Mrs. Alito cried during the hearing.
Speaking of crying...following my day of SCOTUS obsession, I watched the second episode of Frontline's Country Boys with my room-mate. When 17 year-old Chris's mom ditched him with his alcoholic Dad and little sister to take care of, the school principle told him she might be able to give him some help with "time management" work to help balance his full-time job, home life, and school work, but that he could do it: "you have responsibilities, but I think you're ready for them," I was reminded of George Bush's ridiculous press conference comment to that woman with three jobs, "uniquely American!"
After listening to that wanker, Lindsey Graham and watching that show in all one day, the insanity of our society's belief that individual character is the source of all things, whether or good or bad, was just about as starkly clear to me as it's going to get. Unfortunately, the more that I listen to these absurdities, the more crazy I begin to feel. aiee.