Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sam Alito Moves to Naughty List

Today's Memphis Commercial Appeal (free registration required) digs up an old local story which became a major Supreme Court case. Until today, I was not deeply worried about Judge Alito, but now he has my full attention.

One would expect the Bush administration to select a conservative. They, after all, won the election. Alito wrote a memo suggesting rationale why the United States government should support the shooting of an unarmed 15 year old boy fleeing from a Memphis police officer. The Commercial Appeal reports on it this morning.

In his memo, Alito disputed whether the shooting really constituted a seizure and called the court of appeals' thinking "dubious."

He also argued that the age and crime of the suspect was "essentially irrelevant" and what counted was that the officer had to make a decision about whether to let Garner escape.

"If he shot, there was the chance that he would kill a person guilty only of a simple breaking and entering," Alito wrote. "If he did not shoot, there was a chance that murderer or rapist would escape and possibly strike again. I do not think the Constitution provides an answer to the officer's dilemma."

The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, 6-3, with an opinion written by Justice Byron White.

This kind of illogic is pretty embarrassing. What the nominees was suggesting is that police ought to, in a split second, try convict and execute possible criminals. Remember, the kid was not armed and was running away.

How can such a heartless foolish and stupid man have come so far? Maybe Sam Alito was having a bad day. If that is the case, he needs to say so at his confirmation hearings.

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