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Today, Senate confirmation hearings begin for Samuel Alito, the newest nominee to the United States Supreme Court. His elevation to the highest court will have a profound affect on our judicial system. If confirmed, Judge Alito will be able to shape how and under what circumstances corporations will be responsible for failing to make products safe. He will provide input to determine under what circumstances a corporation must pay punitive damages for its wrongful conduct. He will have a say in deciding when State courts can exclusively decide whether somebody who suffers serious injury can seek a remedy. In addition, Judge Alito may have input in deciding a whole host of other hotly contested political issues. Whether you support his nomination or not, these hearings are an important step in shaping the future of our political and judicial system for a generation.

The opening session of his confirmation hearings present examples of how these hearings will be hotly contested:

“He applies the law on an even and fair basis to all of the parties and lets the law and the facts determine who wins and who loses.” – Sen. John Cornyn Republican from Texas and a member of the Judiciary Committee.

“He could be a walking constitutional amendment turning back the clock seven decades on social justice accomplishments.” – Ralph Neas President of People for the American Way, a group at the forefront of Alito opposition.

“He’s no (John) Roberts. We’re talking about the difference between a street fighter and an aristocrat . . . (Roberts) is a guy who went through his whole life never making one misstep. That’s why it was so difficult for Democrats to do anything.” – David Bositis A senior analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Stay tuned to Washington for what will no doubt prove to be a lively debate.

Feedback from across the political spectrum courtesy of Az Central

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