The question is this: Does this theory of entitlement prevail when the President has abused the trust of the American people?
Here is a President who has misled our Nation into war, abrogated the laws duly enacted by Congress, and violated our constitutional and civil rights. He's drudged through scandal after scandal, but has yet to be held accountable. Where is Phase II of the pre-war intelligence investigation? Where is the outrage over the fact he nullified Congress' ban on torture? He violated his oath to protect the Constitution when he issued his royal edict to spy on us outside the law. Yet who will him responsible? A Republican Congress?
The President, exhibiting the theory of the unitary executive that Alito endorses, has snubbed the legislative and judicial branches of government and has declared himself above the law. And now, Senators will claim with straight face that he is entitled to his nominee?
The man is entitled to nothing from the Congress he has abused and misled. The man is entitled to nothing from the American people he has betrayed. It is us, the citizens of this country, who are entitled to the truth. And until we receive that truth, this nominee should not pass.
To let Alito sail through without a fight is to reward the President for his illegal and immoral behavior. He has been rewarded enough. It's time the President learns he cannot abuse the public trust without consequence.
This unorthodox approach to the filibuter, I know, will not be embraced by many Democrats, especially those who already think filibustering is off the table. But to those Democrats, I ask you the following. Imagine if, during the height of Lewinsky scandal, a vacancy occured on the Supreme Court. Does anyone honestly believe the Republicans would passively state that President Clinton was "entitled to his nominee"? Or would they spit fire and raise hell and refuse to give him any deference at all?
When the President commits an impeachable offense, the deference traditionally accorded to his judgment should cease to exist. A President who has betrayed the American people should not be entitled to the rubber-stamping of his nominees. Instead, the Senate should refuse to consider Alito's nomination until the President comes clean to the American people.
Let us examine the conduct of this Presidency first. Let him or his royal court take to the stand during the domestic spying hearings and defend their actions. Let us see whether he is still entitled to the presumption that the President acts in the best interests of the American people. Only then can a Senator make the decision of entitlement. To do otherwise--to confirm Alito without first confirming whether the President violated the Constitution--is tantamount to appointing a jester to the King's Court.