Liveblogging The Mrs. Alito Hearings

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Alito0039:00  Specter reconvenes the hearings.  Mrs. Alito is once again sitting behind her husband.  She’s dressed in black today, and has a black purse on her lap.  She clutches it tightly, much like a Nebraskan tourist on the New York City subway.

9:10  Leahy has the floor for 25 minutes.  Mrs. Alito closes her eyes.  Her lips are moving, as if engaging in silent prayer.

9:15  Leahy begins asking about whether the Constitution permits the execution of an innocent person.   Mrs. Alito puts her hands to her neck, and invokes a "Well, I never…" expression.

9:25  Leahy turns to physican-assisted suicide.  Mrs. Alito shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

9:45  Kennedy’s at bat.  He’s asking about "unitary executives" and the separation of powers.  Mrs. Alito takes a handkerchief from her purse and wipes her brow.  I’ve only seen this in the movies, but I think she’s getting the vapors.

10:03  Whoa!  As Kennedy was questioning Alito about his non-recusal in the Vanguard case, Mrs. Alito raised her handkerchief to her face!

10:04  No, it was only a booger.

10:06  I wish she’d stop playing with it.

10:10  Orrin Hatch is talking now.  He thinks it’s "beyond the pale" to bring up Vanguard now.  Mrs.  Alito pointedly nods in apparent agreement.  Uh, oh.  Her bottom lip is trembling.

10:15  It’s Biden’s turn to ask questions now.  Again, Mrs. Alito looks heavenward and moves her lips in silent prayer.  Oddly enough, everyone else is doing the same thing.  Who says these things are partisan?

10:25  Lots of talk about stare decisis.  It’s almost like each mention of the phrase acts like a knife through Mrs. Alito’s heart. 

10:35  Okay.  Now she’s visibly cringing.  Even the people around her are starting to notice.

10:45  She closes her eyes, and shakes her head quickly.  She straightens up in her seat.  She’s admonishing herself to "Keep it together, girl!"

10:52  Senator Kohl is asking about age limits for judges.  Mrs. Alito gives him a cold stare, as if to say "Just what are you insinuating, Senator?"

10:53  Well, that didn’t last long.  She’s bows her head and closes her eyes.  The pretty girl leans over and asks if she’s okay.

10:54  Her head’s still down.  The girl next to her takes Mrs. Alito’s purse and start fishing through it.  I wonder why.

10:55  Oh, aspirin.  Or some pill.  Whatever it is, Mrs. Alito takes two tablets without any water.  Takes a heavy breath.

10:56  Her head’s still down but her shoulders are shaking.  Is she…?

10:57  Yes, she is!  Her eyes are red and puffy.  She looks up and extends her right arm to the back of her husband’s shiny bald head.  "Sammy, Sammy…" she’s saying.  I can’t hear her, but it’s obvious from lip-reading.  The pretty girl is looking around for help, or something. 

10:58  Kohl asks if Alito will be a centrist judge in the vein of O’Connor.

10:59  Oh my GOD!  She’s got a gun!!!

11:00  C-SPAN cuts away to take viewers’ calls.

UPDATE:  Apparently, there’s a lot of this behavior going around in D.C. today.