One more quick hit thought on the confirmation hearings of Judge Samuel Alito:
I get the distinct impression from J. Alito's answers to these questions, that he has no deep rooted respect for - or belief in - stare decises, the theory that the Supreme Court will follow it's earlier decisions as settled law. He is only willing to say that something is precedent - no matter how uncontroversial or settled for decades - he is unwilling to say any issue is settled law, or no longer at issue due to stare decises.
That is good news for some, and bad news for others...but it is odd. And this is what makes me compare him with J. Thomas on this court - because J. Thomas gives stare decises no weight.
We shall see.