As I write this I'm having to listen to Kennedy blather on in the confirmation hearings. This should be classified as cruel and unusual punishment. If we played hours of Kennedy blathering to the detainees at Gitmo maybe the libs would have a case for torture :-).
All that to say I was thinking that because Alito will be raked over the coals this week by Kennedy, Biden and others and personified as evil incarnate it might be nice to hear some good things about him. I decided a week or two ago that he would be a great person to pick for my second conservative profile.
He was born in April of 1950 in Trenton, New Jersey. He is Roman Catholic. He attended Princeton University and graduated from there as well as Yale Law School in the early 70's. In 1985 he married Martha-Ann Bomgardner and they have two kids, Philip and Laura. Below is a listing of his jobs that he has had throughout his career from Wikipedia:
1976 – 1977 — Law clerk for Leonard I. Garth of the Third Circuit.
1977 – 1981 — Assistant United States Attorney, District of New Jersey.
1981 – 1985 — Assistant to Solicitor General Rex E. Lee.
1985 – 1987 — Deputy Assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese.
1987 – 1990 — United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
1990 – pres. — Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
1999 – 2004 — Adjunct Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey
According to LexisNexis Judge Alito has written more than 700 opinions. He belongs to the Federalist Society. He has been nicknamed by some lawyers as "Scalito". The nickname seems to have originated in 1992 in the National Law Journal and a Philadelphia Journalist claims to have coined the nickname. The one notable difference between Alito and Scalia is he seems to lack Scalia's passion. And I would presume some would say that makes him possibly more even tempered. In my opinion that probably makes him a little less exciting but exciting is not a requirement for Supreme Court Justice :-).
He has had 15 years of experience as a Circuit Appeals Judge. I also want to point out that he was unanimously confirmed to that position in 1990. During those years he has proven to be a pretty solid conservative, a strict constructionist (one who interprets the law not tries to rewrite it). That is why most of us were excited when he was nominated. An article on Law.com entitled "The Mild Mannered Scalia" had this to say about cases that he ruled on:
"On the hot-button issues, Alito has been consistently conservative.
In ACLU v. Schundler, Alito wrote the majority opinion holding that a city's holiday display that included a créche and a menorah did not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment because it also included secular symbols such as Frosty the Snowman and a banner promoting racial diversity.
On abortion, Alito was the lone dissenter in the Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to inform their husbands.
Alito argued that the Pennsylvania law's restrictions should have been upheld.
"The Pennsylvania Legislature could have rationally believed," Alito wrote, "that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands' knowledge because of perceived problems -- such as economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands' previously expressed opposition -- that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion."
The case went on to the Supreme Court, resulting in a 6-3 decision that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade and struck down the spousal notification provision of the law. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, in his dissent, quoted Alito's underlying dissent and said he agreed with his reasoning."
Bill Kristol, Editor Of The Weekly Standard, had this to say:
"[In] April, ... I surveyed people that I respect in constitutional law, law professors, former law clerks who were lawyers, I said on the pure merits among those that the President would be inclined to pick, who would be the most distinguished, most intellectually serious and thoughtful appellate court judges and I would say in the top five consistently were Roberts and Alito." (Fox News' "Fox & Friends," 10/31/05)
The Almanac Of The Federal Judiciary Has Called Him “Brilliant” With An “Excellent Demeanor.”
Rush was saying today that Samuel Alito is a man of "intellectual firepower". The awesome thing is we have a lot of these on the right. And the problem for Kennedy, Biden and others is they don't have the intellectual firepower to go up against men like Alito. Instead of my blood pressure rising I actually found it amusing watching Kennedy try to come up with something good today. It looks like the votes are there and Alito will be confirmed. So the rest is big ego senators parading in front of the cameras actually thinking someone cares about what they have to say.
Official White House Biography