Remembering Martha-Ann Bomgardner
But, the sad fact is, when it comes right down to it, most Americans probably won’t remember much of the week anyway, including Judge Alito:
In spite of broad, high-profile news coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court in the past year, 57 percent of Americans can’t name any current U.S. Supreme Court justices. According to a new national survey conducted by FindLaw.com, the leading legal Web site, only 43 percent of American adults can name at least one justice who is currently serving on the nation’s highest court.
In any given year, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments to a broad range of high-profile legal and constitutional issues. But in this past year, even greater attention was focused on the Court following the announced retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist and President Bush’s subsequent nominations of John Roberts, the new chief justice; Harriet Miers, who eventually withdrew her nomination; and Samuel Alito, whose confirmation hearings began this week. Interest groups have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to sway public opinion on the nominations.
Still, the FindLaw.com survey finds a majority of Americans cannot name even one U.S. Supreme Court justice. The survey results represent a slight improvement over an identical survey conducted in 2003 that found only 35 percent of Americans could name any of the Supreme Court justices who were serving at that time.
However, Judge Alito’s wife may be a different story. The image of Martha-Ann Bomgardner sitting behind her husband crying as he is put through a marathon of intense questioning and personal attacks won’t be forgotten too soon. That was one of those moments where most Americans took pause. This was one of those moments of raw emotion that is not so easily forgotten.
The AP agrees that Judge Alito is poised to be the next Supreme Court Justice:
Samuel Alito is poised to join a tradition of pragmatic justices who have moved the Supreme Court to the right in measured steps.
Eighteen hours of questions over four days showed President Bush’s nominee to be a judge respectful of legal precedent but hardly starry-eyed. Alito also displayed a strong inclination toward executive authority, a trait not surprising for a lifetime government employee and former Reagan Justice Department lawyer.
By the design of Bush administration officials and despite Democratic efforts to smoke him out, almost nothing was learned in Senate confirmation hearings about Alito’s views on transcendent issues likely to come before the court, such as abortion.
Mongo reflects on a moment captured on film.