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Quotable: Nomination of Judge Samuel Alito

"Judge Alito's reputation has only grown over the span of his service. He has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. This record reveals a thoughtful judge who considers the legal matter carefully and applies the law in a principled fashion. He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people." — President Bush.


"The Supreme Court is an institution that I have long held in reverence. During my 29 years as a public servant, I've had the opportunity to view the Supreme Court from a variety of perspectives — as an attorney in the Solicitor General's Office, arguing and briefing cases before the Supreme Court, as a federal prosecutor, and most recently for the last 15 years as a judge of the Court of Appeals." — Judge Samuel Alito.


"Judge Alito is unquestionably qualified to serve on our nation's highest court. And on the bench, he has displayed a judicial philosophy marked by judicial restraint and respect for the limited role of the judiciary to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench." — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.


"The nomination of Judge Alito requires an especially long, hard look by the Senate because of what happened last week to Harriet Miers. Conservative activists forced Miers to withdraw from consideration for this same Supreme Court seat because she was not radical enough for them. Now the Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people." — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.


"Rather than selecting a nominee for the good of the nation and the court, President Bush has picked a nominee whom he hopes will stop the massive hemorrhaging of support on his right wing. This is a nomination based on weakness, not strength." — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.


"President Bush has hit a home run by selecting Sam Alito. Anyone would be hard pressed to name another nominee with such a sterling and distinguished record. Judge Alito believes the law — not the judge — should determine the results in a case." — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah


"Judge Alito's impressive credentials and extensive legal experience position him well for this post. Fifteen years ago, the Senate unanimously confirmed Judge Alito as a circuit court judge, and I encourage my colleagues to, once again, move this nomination forward in an expeditious manner." — Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah


"President Bush put the demands of his far-right political base above Americans' constitutional rights and legal protections by nominating federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor." — Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People For the American Way.


"It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor, who would unify us. This controversial nominee, who would make the court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people." — Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.


"The president has repeatedly said that he is looking for someone with strong intellect, temperament and reverence for the Constitution to replace Justice O'Connor. Judge Alito is a triple play." — Adam Ciongoli, a former law clerk for Judge Alito and former counsel to Attorney General John Ashcroft.


"The nomination of Harriet Miers has split conservatives unlike anything I can remember. The debate will not end, in fact it will become more intense." — Gary Bauer, a onetime Republican presidential candidate who now heads the conservative group American Values Coalition.


"Judge Alito is the best there is. The Democrat-controlled Senate recognized these qualities in Judge Alito when it unanimously confirmed him to the court of appeals." — Wendy Long, counsel for the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network.


"The president has made an excellent choice today which reflects his commitment to appoint judges in the mold of (Antonin) Scalia and (Clarence) Thomas. Sam Alito, a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has consistently embraced the original intent of the Constitution." — Kay Daly, president of the conservative Coalition for a Fair Judiciary.