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Judging the hearings on Alito's nomination

January 13, 2006

Re "Alito Remains Unruffled in Testy Hearings," Jan. 12

It's hard to believe what is happening at the hearings on the nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court. The fine job that select senators are doing at smearing this judicial servant is appalling to watch or read about. It leaves me wondering how any right-minded young man or woman would ever want to get into the political arena, where such feeding to the lions is practiced routinely.

MICHAEL KELLEY

Riverside

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The Times' headline said: "Alito Tells Skeptical Democrats He Would Keep an Open Mind" (Jan. 11). Translation: When confirmed, I will do as I please.

JACK CORKERY

San Clemente

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Without fail, the media and now the inquisitors in the Alito hearings divide the abortion rights contestants into only two opposing bastions: pro-abortionists versus pro-lifers; liberals versus conservatives (or left versus right). These characterizations miss a critical point. It is completely possible to be pro-choice, liberal and left-oriented but personally still be against abortion. Or conservative and right-oriented but, preferring less government, willing to allow others to privately follow their own consciences in making extremely difficult choices.

TIM BRADLEY

Altadena

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Alito should be grilled. Every judicial candidate ever nominated should be grilled. In fact, judges should be selected by a clear majority (two-thirds or 60%), because the Supreme Court (or any court) should not be a haven for personal views of any kind, conservative or liberal. Although there may be some questions about abortion rights, the Constitution clearly states that only moderates should serve as judges -- it's called "the right to a fair trial."

DAVID ANDREW LLOYD

Studio City

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Re "The Alito testimony you won't hear," Opinion, Jan. 11

As Stephen R. Dujack's testimony would have shown, the group called Concerned Alumni of Princeton was a big enough deal in the early 1980s that Alito's claim to have forgotten about it is hard to believe. It is possible, however, that Alito faked membership in the group to please Reagan appointees who could give him a job. After all, on his 1985 job application, Alito mentioned CAP to compensate for his lack of participation in partisan politics. It would be interesting to learn the scope of Alito's eagerness to offer political loyalty when seeking government employment.

DAVID A. HOLTZMAN

Princeton Class of 1982

West Los Angeles

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