Charles Cooke of National Review Online assesses the latest attempt to smear a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

… [T]he woman who secretly recorded a conversation with Justice Alito and his wife “is an activist, not a journalist,” and that she should’ve tossed the recording “because this is just not ‘a thing,’ as the kids say.”

“There’s nothing in it that is damning,” Cooke said. Alito “doesn’t say anything inappropriate. He doesn’t in any way imply that his opinions are of a different caliber or character than one would expect from a Supreme Court justice. He does not say, contrary to allegations, that he wants to help his side win.”

Alito did, Cooke said, reaffirm what we already knew: that he is “a religious man.” “It is not and ought not to be upsetting,” Cooke said, “to learn that people who have a strong faith believe that the country ought to be more Godly. . . . Now that isn’t to say that he told her, or even, but of course he thinks the United States should be more Godly. But it’s not a weird thing in the slightest. It is presupposed in our Declaration of Independence. It’s on our money. And it is shared, at least nominally, by a supermajority of our citizens.

“It is not a problem for a Supreme Court justice to be religious. It’s not a problem for them to be Jewish or Muslim or Catholic as Alito is. And you know what else? It’s actually not a problem for them to be conservative either.”

Cooke said, “All manner of people throughout American history have excelled at being Supreme Court justices with the American people fully aware of what it was that they believed about politics or where they came from. . . . This all comes from a combination of illiteracy about our constitutional order and very, very cynical politics that is attempting to overturn the Supreme Court’s absolutely legitimate decisions because people in positions of authority and influence don’t like them.”