So Samuel Alito is supposed to be a "textualist", right? Who views the constitution strictly as a "text", not a "living document"?
His own promises to the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, apparently are living documents. What he wrote in his Senate questionnaire in 1990 (according to Newsday, which had the most complete version of the quote that I could find)was:
I would, however, disqualify myself from any cases involving the Vanguard companies, the brokerage firm of Smith Barney or the First Federal Savings & Loan of Rochester, N.Y.
Today, however, he says:
As my service continued, I realized that I had been unduly restrictive on my 1990 questionnaire [...]
So clearly, Alito does believe that written documents have to be interpreted according to evolving circumstances. This is clearly a setback for the strict constructionalists.
Incidentally, I think that other public figures might want to use this same approach to getting themselves out of hot water. Imagine:
"I said I would never, ever take steroids," explained Palmeiro, "but later I realized I had been unduly restrictive."
See? It sounds so darned reasonable!