The NY Times examines the first 5 years of the Roberts Court today, and while I disagree with many of its assertions, this one it gets right:
Though Chief Justice Roberts gets all the attention, Justice Alito may thus be the lasting triumph of the administration of President George W. Bush. He thrust Justice Kennedy to the court’s center and has reshaped the future of American law.
Everybody talks about Roberts-Scalia & Thomas, and rightfully so. These men (especially Scalia & Thomas) will be carved into the Mount Rushmore of conservative Justices. But Sam Alito slips through the cracks, and his excellence is often overlooked and underrated.
He is like James Worthy was with the Lakers. Everyone remembers Magic & Kareem, but Worthy is a Hall of Famer as well-and who knows how much they would have won without him?
Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor-and amen to that.
And remember, Alito wasn't even Bush's first choice-he tried to put his version of Elena Kagan on the Court, Harriet Miers-but conservatives rose up and said "get the fuck out of here with Harriet Miers".
Alito for O'Connor is one of the best trades since the pilgrims bought Manhattan from the Indians.