Captain's Quarters Blog

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January 11, 2006
Senate Blogger Forum: Former Alito Clerks, Group 2

We've begun to meet with three more of Judge Alito's former law clerks: Jeff Wasserstein, a liberal Democrat who also reads CQ -- and so is one of my favorites thus far -- David Moore, and Keith Levenburg. Mr. Levenburg starts off by talking about the benefit of adding Alito to the Supreme Court as he is not ideologically driven, and has a broad understanding of business law. Mr. Moore says that ideology is not something he brings to his chambers. He fully considers the facts before reaching his decisions.

In a fascinating coincidence, the three served Alito during various partisan crises: Bush v Gore, the Iraq War, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. All three said that Alito never revealed his thoughts or feelings on a partisan basis, although the clerks themselves felt free to express themselves in social settings around the judge.

Mr. Levenberg does not see a lack of private practice being a problem at the appellate level. In fact, adding someone who has served as a US attorney adds another dimension to the Court. The three also note that Alito has taught on terror-related law, and remarked that it is hard to overestimate the broad knowledge of legal arenas in which Alito qualifies as an expert.

The most disappointing part of the process? The smear tactics used by Democrats on the CAP and Vanguard issues. While Wasserstein tends to give the Senators a pass -- "politicians are politicians" -- he says he will stop supporting some groups based on their disingenuity. Mr. Moore notes that the same politicians who complain that Alito isn't giving answers won't stop talking long enough to ask questions.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 11, 2006 10:28 AM

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