Thomas Sowell
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 If a Senator thinks the information available on any nominee is inadequate, then all that Senator has to do is vote not to confirm. The power to vote yes or no does not include obstructing other Senators from voting or dragging out the confirmation hearings into a media spectacle and a public humiliation. 

 Justice Clarence Thomas said it best during his confirmation hearings: "Confirm me if you want, don't confirm me if you are so led, but let this process end."

 It needs to end for everybody -- not just for this nominee or the next nominee but for the good of the country, so that the best qualified people are willing to go through the nomination process, without fear that the reputation of a lifetime will not be dragged through the mud.

 Senator Orrin Hatch has aptly said that the coming battle over the nomination of Judge Alito will be "Armageddon." It will be Armageddon for the Republican party.

 If the Republicans are not willing to fight for the things that people elected them to do, then some of the people who elected them may not turn out to vote for them at the next election.

 People who have for years not only voted for the Republicans, but donated their time and money to the Republican party, who have volunteered to stuff envelopes, man the phones and walk the precincts to get out the vote on cold election nights, deserve something better than Senators who wimp out at crunch time.

 If the fate of the legal system in this country is not enough incentive for Senate Republicans to show some backbone, maybe concern for their own re-election will be.

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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