What others are saying

Alito confirmation hearings show off some bad politics

The Indianapolis Star:

His legal qualifications have never been seriously questioned.

His judicial temperament is sound. His ethics, after thorough investigation by political enemies and supporters alike, are admirable.

Samuel Alito is far from an extremist, as his more partisan detractors have asserted. He's served well for 15 years as a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He's readily qualified to join the U.S. Supreme Court.

So why is Alito expected to get only a bare majority on the Senate floor?

The courts in recent decades have become something of a super-legislature, asked to resolve sensitive questions better left for elected leaders to decide. Abortion. Gay marriage. Public expressions of religion.

If one side or the other on such hot-button issues can't win through the electoral process, it turns to the courts, hoping to push through agendas with the help of friendly judges.

Because the stakes have become so high, special-interest groups and the elected leaders who do their bidding have trashed nominees whose only true guilt was holding the ''wrong'' legal and philosophical views.

In Alito's case, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee knowingly distorted his record and trashed his reputation. It was a shameful display that should draw a rebuke from any fair-minded American.

DNA evidence probably saved state death penalty

South Florida Sun- Sentinel:

DNA can prove innocence, reconfirm guilt.

Funny how quickly the hype machine building around an executed Virginia man got quiet.

The anti-capital punishment crowd hoped a new round of DNA testing would exonerate Roger Keith Coleman and lead to a renewed ban on the death penalty.

It hasn't turned out that way. Far from it.

The tests seemed to only reconfirm that Coleman, who was put to death 14 years ago, was guilty of the 1981 rape and murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy.

And that ended Coleman's days as the apparent poster victim against capital punishment.

The lesson from the Coleman case, however, is that advanced technology may not just help determine innocence, but also reassert guilt.

Ethics need to be addressed by voters, not politicians

Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette:

The problem with Congressional ethics reform is those who need to reform are proposing the remedy. While some may say voters hold the ultimate power in ensuring reforms are enacted, the fact is those who are most likely to offend hold the real power over reform efforts. ...

Perhaps if they traveled more often to their districts for ''fact-finding'' trips and talked to residents there about the real-life problems of living in 21st century America - poverty, health care and taxes, to name a few - there wouldn't be such a need for ethics reform.