- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2006

As part of a last-ditch effort to block the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., a Pennsylvania man accused the nominee of not fully disclosing complaints made against him in his Senate questionnaire.

H. Gerard Heimbecker filed a judicial misconduct complaint earlier this week saying Judge Alito did not disclose his efforts to have the entire Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit — including Judge Alito — recused from hearing his appeals.

“Judge Alito holds himself and fellow judges above the law and the complainant beneath the law,” Mr. Heimbecker wrote.

Republicans on Capitol Hill rolled their eyes at news of the complaint and said it was a stunt engineered by Democrats frustrated over Judge Alito’s apparently imminent confirmation next week. They said Mr. Heimbecker is known as a “serial litigator” in the 3rd Circuit.

“If this was orchestrated by the hard left in a desperate attempt to derail this nomination, they have failed miserably,” said Don Stewart, spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and member of the Judiciary Committee. “It’s embarrassing.”

Mr. Heimbecker, however, describes himself as a conservative Catholic and a lifelong Republican. He is acting as his own attorney in pursuing the complaint against Judge Alito.

The judge “failed to be honest and totally truthful with the committee, for the reasons that he was protecting himself by not having to answer for his actions in covering up the actions of (another) judge,” the former firefighter told the Associated Press yesterday.

After news of the complaint became public yesterday, Judge Alito wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, and advised him of the case. Also, a clerk on the 3rd Circuit wrote to say he had mistakenly overlooked the case because of a clerical error.

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