The nomination of a judicial powerhouse turned George Bush's bad patch of October into an early Christmas present. Not only was every section of the president's coalition cheering, but liberal interest groups, left-wing bloggers, and Democratic Senators reacted with such over-the-top rhetoric as to reduce the intellectual credibility of their O'Connor-seat defense.
The best moment of the president's Oct. 31 announcement of his nominee came when he said that while Judge Alito was certainly thinking of his 90-year-old retired public school teacher mom, he was also no doubt thinking of his late father, who had immigrated to the United States as a child. Thus, the president noted, had the Alito family lived the American dream, a continually recurring display of this country's opportunity.
Judge Alito's accomplishments are extraordinary: He graduated from Princeton and Yale Law, mastered his craft at a young age, served as a U.S. Attorney and 15 years as judge while finding a spouse and rearing two children whom the judge called the pride of his life.
But all of those achievements are derivative, the product of the discipline, love, hard work, and faith of his father Samuel Alito, Sr., and his mother, Rose Alito. In elevating Judge Alito, President Bush has reminded every hard-working immigrant that with work comes a promise of equal opportunity.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer had the worst immediate reaction to the nomination: He believes Judge Alito might reverse the gains that Rosa Parks had worked for, thus implying that Judge Alito would find no constitutional prohibition of state-sponsored segregation. That was an appalling slander, but an indication that the threat Democrats perceive in any serious jurist not already pledged to uphold Roe has unhinged many.
Rosa Parks was a great woman whose work has been seen and admired by hundreds of millions of Americans. Samuel and Rose Alito are also great Americans, whose work is only now coming into view. They too deserve our respect and admiration for their example and their dedication.