Samuel Alito felt he had to appease the liberal gods during the early stages of his Senate Judiciary Committee hearings by declaring he has "no agenda." Conservatives are supposed to say such things, whether they mean it or not. Liberals have an agenda: to change the culture of the nation by judicial edicts.
Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, summarized the left's agenda. Schumer declared that Alito has a "triple burden." Not only is he replacing the swing vote of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, but he must also prove he is not the handmaiden of the religious right, or that he would take extreme positions on constitutional issues.
Nowhere in the Constitution is there mention of a swing vote seat (or a minority or female seat, either, as some liberals have suggested). Nowhere in the Constitution is "extreme" defined. It could be argued there have been many extreme positions taken by the court - from Dred Scott v. Sandford (in which the court majority decided that slaves could never be considered citizens of the United States, to Roe v. Wade in which a majority claimed that a woman had total autonomy over the life of her unborn child.)
If Schumer is concerned about justices taking extreme positions, he should have voted against Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose writings and pronouncements revealed her belief, while an ACLU lawyer, in legalizing human relationships beyond male-female marriage and secularizing the public square. To a liberal such a position is mainstream.
Alito's performance has not been equal to John Roberts', now chief justice, but his grasp of law and the Constitution shows that he will make a thoughtful and wise justice, as long as he refrains from reading the editorial pages of The Washington Post and New York Times, hires law clerks who believe as he does and avoids dinner parties in Georgetown and Cleveland Park where the liberal siren song tries to turn conservative justices into mushy moderates (like O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy) and encourage stealth liberals, like David Souter, who was sold as a conservative, but needed little help in his rapid leftward drift.
To borrow from Forrest Gump's mother, a Supreme Court justice is like a box of chocolates . you never know what you're gonna get.