January 28th, 2010
12:51 PM ET
13 years ago

Hatch says Alito showed 'judicial restraint'

(CNN) - Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a member of the Senate Judiciary committee and its former chairman, issued a statement Thursday defending Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's reaction to President Obama's criticism during the State of the Union Address:

"President Obama last night wildly mischaracterized the Supreme Court's decision. As a former constitutional law professor, he should have known better. So I can understand Justice Alito's frustration. Judges are people too and, frankly, I think he showed quite a bit of judicial restraint."

Filed under: Orrin Hatch
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. kaparrishinatl

    There is a reason when military officials and the supreme court justices do not applaud and stand at a presidential address; they are un-biased and have no opinion on what the president has to say. I believe it is called PROTOCOL!!! So, Justice Alito was wrong to show any emotion or expression of his discontent during the State of the Union address; whether he could contain himself or not.

    January 28, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Mrs. S Callahan

    It seems to me the veil is being removed from the eyes of the majority... there are a lot of folks mouthing along with Alito ..'that's just not true'. I'm disappointed in President Obama's stance on this...

    January 28, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Sandra, Atlanta

    Too bad the Supreme Court doesn't exercise judicial constraint!

    January 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Jamie

    Of course, you helped squeeze Alito through!!! Judicial restraint is nothing but a buzz word to Republicans.

    January 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Obama has resorted to the typical left-wing response when they are wrong.... name-calling. Obama plain LIED, and it was, I'm sure, all Justice Alito could do not to pull a Joe Wilson.

    January 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Don J

    Hatch is nothing but a bigoted liar trying to protect the disgraceful Republican image, any stooge can do his job, it is so easy a caveman can do it, just stand up and let Republican crap stream from every orifice.

    January 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. ttbala

    Oh Oran Hatch, you are such a hypocrite, what can you understand Alitos comment or the Republicans shameless attitute towards the President, you Repubs are so angry and jealous that you force people to make fun of you, all the republican Senators and House members think it is cute to sit and not get up or clap for their president at the state of Union, but let me tell you, you all looked like childish people that are supposed to run this country, God help us from the likes of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Maven

    So basically, Orrin Hatch believes Corporations should be able to elect Presidents, instead of us lowly Citizens. Exactly when are we going to say "no" to this kind of evil?

    January 28, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. John

    Despite what Orrin Hatch says, Justices Alito and Roberts should be impeached for lying to congress during their confirmation hearings.

    Justices Thomas and Scalia should be impeached for general incompetence.

    We need Justices that serve the American people not, the Republican Party and their Corporate Sponsors.

    January 28, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Baby Boomer

    NO. He didn't show retrainted. He was very disrespectful. And we all know why. Say whatever you want, the respect level for the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES is at an all time low and yet President Obama hasn't earned this kind of distain. What it tells me is one thing and one thing only. I'll leave it right there...

    January 28, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. skeeve

    You can say, whatever you want but until you explain what prevents a large Chinese, Russian or any other for that matter firm with registered office in the United States to poor millions into the campaign of their favorite politician the point stands: now and elected sit could be bought pretty easily. In case you don't realize, those firms can register a company in USA that will walk, talk and smell like a fully domestic company but will in fact represent foreign interests. As a Supreme Court Judge Justice Alito should indeed know better, because this decision essentially subvert democratic process and affects the free speech directly.

    You know how? Easily. I, as a commercial firm buy out all or most prime time advertising slots. I don't even have to use them all as long as I deny them for an opponent of my favorite candidate. Everything is very legal, according to Alito, except that only the side with money exercise its right to "free speech"

    January 28, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. vegage

    I am really scared about this decision. Definitely this country will be governed by big companies. Usually big businesses are more favorable to republicans because usually republicans are pro big business interests. So now big business not having any restrain in the money they can spend or donate to candidates, they are going to take advantage of this new ruling to promote candidates that are pro big companies. I think that is a very bad thing for a democracy, regular people will not have an even field to compete.

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. JonDie

    Samuel Alito is a radical extremist whose every decision hurts most ordinary Americans for the benefits of Alito's owner, the big corporations.

    January 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Lisa P

    Meaningless partisan rhetoric from the guy who made ideology a central feature of Supreme Court confirmation hearings and who has just as deep an understanding of "judicial restraint" as his statement would suggest (which is to say: none). If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem. Hatch is part of the problem. He needs to go.

    January 28, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Sue

    Obama was WRONG for attacking the Supreme Court in that manner.

    One branch of government should NEVER criticize/attack another branch of our government in a public forum.

    Unfortunately for Obama and the Dems-–based on all recent, national polls--the majority in the country agree with the Supremes..

    January 28, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. honest abe

    and he defended the other republican jerk that shouted "liar" or whatever at President Obama last time! He would defend charles manson (if he were a conservative republican too).

    January 28, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |

    No, Hatch. You are the one wrong. Alito and his four actvist buddy's just sold america down the drain. but of course you would stand up for them after all it is not about america or the american people it is all about the republican party. consertives care nothing for anything but the party.

    January 28, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Jim

    I think Alito is completely a judicial activist. He is just a right wing judicial activist so the right wing doesn't seem to mind that brand of judicial activism. I don't see that he has excercised any restraint whatsoever.

    January 28, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. katiec

    This decision without a doubt is one the the most significant injustice ever issued by the Supreme Court.
    It has given big business, even foreign corporations, control over our elections. It has made the American voter insignificant.
    They have taken away one of our most important freedoms Our, the Americans peoples,right to determine who will run our country.
    Our government has to find a way to overturn this irresponsible,
    republican ruling.

    January 28, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    So what this justice got angry, suck it up this is the President of the U. S. I bet if bush had said the same thing he nor hatch would not have said or acted in a disrespectful way. I'm sure President Obama know this idiot is a person, you hatch is one in question, moron

    January 28, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. The Film Professor

    Both Alito and Roberts basically perjured themselves in their confirmation hearings by testifying that they would follow the traditions of stare decisis or judicial precedents.

    The ruling last week was the most egregious overreach by the SC in my 57 year lifetime - truly a shamefully political decision and also the worst example of "Activist Judges" I have ever seen.

    So now we have a thoroughly politicized and discredited SC, whom the American people can no longer count on for basic fairness. I don't think that this is what the founders of our country had in mind for our democracy.

    January 28, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Bob C

    Orin, not true.

    January 28, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Dear Sen. Hatch, I suppose it will just fine with you, Republicans, when Foreign Corporations favoring Obama donate freely & put up ads on his behalf? No, I didn't think so.

    The Supreme Court made a huge mistake. They took away the power of the people, and gave it to Big Corporations.

    January 28, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. Personal responsibility, please.

    I agree.

    Obama lied about the decision during his speech and was able to get away with it because there was no immediate chance for rebuttal.

    Note: Foreign companies already cannot donate–thus Obama lied without a rebuttal.

    January 28, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Florence

    Of course they’re people. But their latest ruling proved the kind of people that they are. Giving the Constitutional Right of Free Speech to Corporation! What a great bunch of looser.

    January 28, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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