John Leo

We have to be careful here. We depict him as a dull plodder who reflexively defers to precedents and Supreme Court rulings instead of voting his opinions. But that would be saying that he’s unlikely to overturn Roe, because it’s settled law and he has warned about the “shock” of reversing long-held Supreme Court decisions. We may be able to work both halves of this, but it won’t be easy.

What other impressions are you working on?

Resentment over the strip search he would have allowed of a 10-year-old girl.

Wasn’t that a technical issue? It was a police raid on a meth house. Police know that a dealer will often hide drugs on other people, hoping that they won’t be covered by the warrant. The police put this argument in their affidavit asking for a warrant to search everybody, but they screwed up and didn’t get it explicitly in the text of the warrant itself. Still, they felt they had made their case, so they had a female officer search a woman and her daughter. The officers argued that the information in the supporting affidavit was incorporated by reference. Alito agreed. But does this make him authoritarian and antichild?

It does if you want him to be seen as far to the right and out of the main stream. Look, thanks to Arlen Specter, who delayed the hearings, we have two months to dig up and embellish old Alito cases. By that time, he’ll be antidisabled, antiminority, pretty much anti-everything. Just watch.

You give fresh meaning to “advice and consent,” Terry. Good luck.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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