It was an interesting article with two of South Dakota's top legislators (and possible candidates for Governor in 2010) publicly coming out in favor of Judge Alito. Matt Michels and Lee Schoenbeck both stood very publicly in support of the nomination.
While it also appeared in the Mitchell newspaper, this article is from the Watertown Public Opinion (Registration Required):
Read the whole article here and support the Watertown Public Opinion with a subscription - it's worth it.
Support sought for Alito
Four Republican lawyers, including the South Dakota Legislature's top House and Senate members, made a public pitch Thursday on behalf of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.
They asked that U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat, vote for President Bush's choice to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Their efforts might have been two months premature. Johnson isn't budging from his position of wanting to wait for the Senate confirmation hearing on Alito. The hearing is scheduled to start January 9.
“He truly doesn't announce any position until the hearings are concluded. He did that with (Chief Justice John) Roberts and he will follow suit with Alito,” said Julianne Fisher, the senator's communications director.
The panel of Republicans lawyers Thursday included state Sen. Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown, who is Senate president pro tem, and state Rep. Matt Michels of Yankton, who is speaker in the House of Representatives.
Michels and Schoenbeck participated in a teleconference for reporters. The event was organized by Progress for America, a conservative group working on behalf of the Bush White House for Alito's confirmation.
My favorite part of the article? The part where Senator Thune notes - "After the president's announcement of Alito's nomination, Thune issued a statement calling for an up or down vote on Alito “not left or right.”
I suspect you'll see the Republican Senate Caucus hold a little tighter on this nomination then they did the last one. He certainly has the support of someone you might be calling Governor in the next five years.