Alito is obviously among the numerous candidates that fulfills the President’s pledge to nominate someone in the mold of Scalia and Thomas- the only question now is whether he will be confirmed. I think he answer to that is a slam-dunk “yes.” During the Miers nomination debacle, some (including some on this board) blamed the Republicans in the gang of 14 for the choice, saying they made the nomination of a qualified conservative impossible. I think the Alito nomination will show that I was right to defend those Republicans and that Bush miscalculated greatly if that was his reason for nominating such an unknown as Miers.
Mike DeWine was just on TV (one of the gang of 14), saying that Alito is nowhere close to extraordinary circumstances. I expect John McCain and the rest of those who worked well with Democrats to save the filibuster for truly extraordinary circumstances will issue similar statements in the next couple of days. The Democrats will see the writing on the wall for any attempt at a filibuster, not want to lose the option for truly extraordinary circumstances, and back down after a bunch of posturing. Alito will be confirmed with over 60 votes, and the filibuster deal will be established as not something to be used as a litmus test, but rather as a last ditch measure for when the process goes really wrong.
This is a very good day for the American judiciary.