Judge Samuel Alito Jr. is about to get a hard lesson in politics and the not-so-hidden agendas of individual politicians.

He is the latest nominee to fill a future vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, and he can expect a rough trip through the Senate’s confirmation hearings and vote. Liberals in and out of Congress will oppose him in any way they can.

It is unfortunate that we choose our Supreme Court justices mostly for the wrong reasons. The first consideration should be whether an individual is learned in the law and a stable person. The only other consideration should be whether he or she will uphold and interpret the U.S. Constitution as it was written and approved.

In looking at Alito, it is fair to ask whether he would strictly interpret the Constitution and whether this would override any personal feelings and beliefs. Would he be able to make a fair decision based on law alone, not on personal preferences?

We were opposed to the nomination of Harriet Miers because she had no judicial experience. This is not the case with Alito, who has been a judge on the 3rd U.S. District Court of Appeals since 1990 – certainly experience that would be valuable for a new justice on the high court.

It would appear that Alito is qualified both from the point of judicial experience and a strong knowledge of the law. Unfortunately, these will not be the primary considerations of the senators. They will worry more about things such as his position on abortion.

Alito has been criticized already because of a 1992 case in which he supported spousal notification before an abortion is planned. It is not unreasonable that a husband be notified before an abortion because of his biological interest in the unborn child. Nor is it unreasonable to require that parents of a minor girl child be notified, since they are obligated for her health and welfare.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate must determine whether Alito is too radical for the American people.

Fortunately, he did not raise that question about members of the Senate.

Reid chastised President Bush for not nominating the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court. That may represent senatorial thinking, at least in some quarters, but we hold that race, gender, religion and ethnic heritage should not be a consideration in selecting a candidate for the high court.

We cannot predict how the confirmation process will turn out for Alito, but we can safely predict that some Democrat senators will make themselves ridiculous in their attempts to block him.

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