Monday, November 21, 2005

Biden: Chance of filibuster on Alito stronger

Yahoo! News
Biden: Chance of filibuster on Alito stronger

The chance of a filibuster to halt the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito rose on news he once opposed 1960s Supreme Court rulings on reapportionment based on the principle of equal voting rights, a top Democrat on the Senate judiciary panel said on Sunday.

Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record), a Democrat from Delaware, told Fox News Sunday that a decision by Democrats to filibuster would depend largely on Alito's answers during judiciary committee questioning scheduled for January.

In a 1985 application to be a deputy assistant attorney general disclosed last week, Alito wrote that he disagreed with reapportionment decisions by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in the early 1960s.

Prior to the Warren court's decisions, some state legislators were elected on a geographical basis, giving thinly populated rural areas more political heft than urban centers.

"If he really believes that reapportionment is a questionable decision -- that is, the idea of Baker vs. Carr, one man, one vote -- then clearly, clearly, you'll find a lot of people, including me, willing to do whatever they can to keep him off the court. We don't know that. We have to hear it," Biden said. "That would include a filibuster if need be."

Asked if this increased the chances of a filibuster, Biden said: "Well, I think based upon that job application where he said he strongly held these views, yes."