Bush Withdraws Justice Samuel Alito's Supreme Court Nomination
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2006 -- President George W. Bush said today he will be withdrawing his nomination of Justice Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, citing "second thoughts". According to President Bush, Justice Alito, who was swept into the court on a initial tide of nearly universal approval among conservatives, "isn't working out exactly like I planned it".
"When I nominated Alito, we thought we'd be getting a justice who would follow the moral tone set by my administration," Bush said, speaking to reporters jogging alongside during the president's three-hour morning bicycle ride. "Frankly, from what I've seen so far, I don't think that's what happening, and so I'm going to withdraw Alito's nomination as soon as I get back to the office."
Bush's thirteenth-hour withdrawal of Samuel Alito's nomination is viewed by some court observers as a response to Alito's rulings on the first three cases with which he has been confronted in his new position as Associate Justice. In all three cases, Alito, rather than voting together with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Roberts as had been anticipated, chose to side with the court's majority.
In his first case as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Alito refused to allow Missouri to execute a death-row inmate whose lawyers had argued that death by lethal injection constituted cruel and unusual punishment and was therefore unconstitutional. Justices Thomas, Scalia and Roberts, speaking in unison, conversely voted to have the man put to death immediately, even offering to perform the execution themselves if provided a written guarantee that their judicial robes would not be stained or damaged during the procedure.
In the second case, Alito voted with the majority opinion in favor of a female plaintiff who argued that the random breast inspections at airports, train stations and Wal-Mart shopping centers to which she had been repeatedly subjected by male "Homeland Security officials supposedly looking for concealed terrorist weapons" violated her constitutional protections against illegal search and seizure. Once again, Justices Scalia, Roberts and Thomas voted as a block to deny her claim, with Thomas again offering to perform the procedure personally.
A third case brought by a Pennsylvania man who challenged Senator Rick Santorum's (R-PA) proposal for a law mandating the usage of gay couples as decoys in bear hunting also received a ruling by Justice Alito in favor of the plaintiff with, once again, Justices Scalia, Thomas and Roberts dissenting.
"Alito's activist rulings aren't the kinds of activist rulings me and Rove and Cheney and Frist and DeLay and Scooter wanted to get at all," said a peeved Bush. "I want to get him back out of there right away before he can cause any more harm to our great nation."
Several constitutional scholars, however, are questioning the legality of Bush's withdrawal of the nomination at this late date.
"The nomination's already been approved, hasn't it?" said Leonard Nimkin, Adjunct Professor at Harvard Law. "It's a little late for the president to flip-flop on this. Again."
President Bush, however, appeared optimistic regarding his prospects for overturning Alito's nomination even following confirmation by the Senate.
"The laws relating to the appointment of Supreme Court justices were made a long, long time ago," Bush said. "We're living in the post 9/11 world now. Maybe if someone else was to try to get Alito removed, some people might think that's not allowed, even illegal. But I'm the president of this country. What's that mean? Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal. I'm doing it."
Associate Justice Alito, who has been temporarily sequestered at an undisclosed location by armed members of the president's Honor Guard, was unavailable for comment at time of writing.
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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