Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Conservative Profile #2--Samuel Alito (Scalito)

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
Law.com Biography


Joia said...

I've gotten a big kick out of the "Scalito" nick name, given the Spanish breakdown of such a word. Adding the suffix "-ito" (for males) or "-ita" (for females) means "little" or "cute." It's a term of endearment.

For example, my baby sister, Kristiana, was called "Kristianita" when we lived in Latin America.

So Scalito would mean, literally, "Cute little Scalia."

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

I looked up as you did from some of the same sources. (smiling) Have been glued to the TV two days in a row now. Besides Kennedy, the Democrats are fairly quiet...sorta like an exit stragedy...no ideas or ammo. I have been expecting fireworks...but it is a fizzle and a struggle to stay awake. (LOL)

I truly am impressed with Alito and feel he will be easily confirmed. Great post btw!! (smiling)

P.S. Any new Cheers??? (LOL)

Dionne said...

Joia: Excellent point. I think I even read that somewhere.

Suzie: Thanks and I am impressed with Alito also. I guess Schumer got a little riled up today but I didn't see that part. Just heard about it on Brit Hume's show.

Crazy Politico said...

Kennedy got his ass kicked on his statements yesterday and doesn't seem to have recovered very well.

juanitagf said...

I love your biographies.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Me too! Schuck is what I call him. How the heck did we miss that...I have racked my brain...must have been when they left the hearing at 6:00 p.m (est) to go to Brit Hume. I knew he should have been last...after Lindsey. Guess that is what happened. Darn it!!

Dionne said...

Crazy: You bet he did and I loved every minute of it.

Jgf: Thanks, I love doing them.

Suzie: Did you start watching the hearing from the very beginning? I didn't see the beginning and then I was gone this afternoon so I had no idea when I missed Chuckie.

James Manning said...

I heard Schumer questions. I think he was fair and to the point. For the most part I've avoided the show. For some reason I find it hard to get excited about it. As long as the guy is not some type of wack job, then I never get myself riled up about Supreme Court nominations. The Thomas hearings were great television though. If I thought something like Anita Hill would come out I'd pay attention. I do think folks can say good-bye to a lot of rights and whoever is in the white house will damn near proclaim himself king when it comes to security issues. Oh, and corporations should have a nice 25 year run of getting away with whatever they want - but I don't think the world is going to end with this. Now, a Chicago Bears loss on Sunday - THAT will probably stop the earth's rotation and signal an end to our civilization as we know it.

Dionne said...

James: If you think Chuckie is fair and to the point I don't know what else I can say :-).

Mark said...

Great post! How do you do lexisnexis?

Dionne said...

Mark: To be honest that is something I want to learn how to do. I was getting that info from Wikipedia. They did a lexisnexis search to find the over 700 opinions.

Pirate said...

I work at home and have the herings on in the back ground. i am waiting for someone to stand up and ask Kennedy where he gets off questioning anyones integrity. What steamed me today was Ted's questioning in the nature of Alito possibly being a bigot. Did Kennedy forget he and his ilk led the move against Thomas based on race. They have the belief that there is only room for one black on the court and they'd be damned if that positon went to a conservative. It had nothing to do with sexualy harrassment just racial make up of the court.

Gayle said...

"Chuckie is fair and to the point?" ROTFALMAO! Wow! I suppose Kennedy is too! Hardy har har!

Sorry. Obviously I'm feeling better. Thanks for stopping by and wishing me well LMC. I appreciate it. :)

Alito is running circles around these clowns and will continue to do so. He's smarter than all of them put together.

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

I dont think conservatives should be taking for granted that Alito will easily pass. I'm almost certain that it's going to be a close vote but that he will get confirmed. After what he did to Robert Bork, dont take Kennedy lightly either. As for Schumer, well since I live in New York I pretty much have to deal with him and as each day passes I just lose more and more respect for the man.

Dionne said...

Pirate: Just wait, I'm going to do a liberal profile on Kennedy and you'll love it. I went and found some awesome editorial cartoons to use for it.

Gayle: I'm glad you're feeling better. And you are right about Alito.

GG: I guess I'm not worried because the some of the gang of 14 said they would do the constitutional option if the dems filibuster. So the dems know that and won't risk filibustering and otherwise we should have the votes. I haven't heard anyone on capitol hill that doesn't think he has the votes. And his behavior during the hearings has only increased everyone's confidences about his confirmation.

Rivka said...

I have managed to watch most of this today as I am trying to find a comfortable position with this back of mine!
I am testing to see if my picture shows up.. This was the only shot i had of myself. No makeup, just bein a housewife.. It may not work, so you may never see it, but you aren't missing anything that is for sure!

Rivka said...

I think i may need to find a better picture! ha!
This one kind of stinks.. Oh well!! Thanks for letting me use your blog as a test!

Dionne said...

Rebecca: I like the pic although it is somewhat hard to see. It turns out better on your actual blog where it is bigger.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Did you see today when Mrs. Alito started crying and left? If not, I have posted about it....I am furious.

Rivka said...

I had no idea until i saw it on fox news tonight.. that really steams me!! Those idiotic dems, they are so mean spirited and political it makes me sick.

ABFreedom said...

Kennedy needs a rubber room, the guy is totally whacked... I'm surprised he's still around .. Alito has a heck of a lot of patience.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

I'm sorry LMC I missed your question earlier on...YES, just about every single minute. Today I jumped over to CSPAN when Fox went to John Gibson...but I flipped back and forth then until the end of the hearings.

I have been glued ever since they started...from day one.

I can't even imagine how the family of Judge Alito feels sitting there...just listening - but Judge Alito is brillant in my opinion especially the way he quotes cases...unbelievable how smart this man is and PATIENT!!

Dionne said...

Suzie: As soon as I read your comments I jetted over to your post. Great job!! It is unconscionable that they were so vicious that they made her cry. You know she had to have prepared herself for this and yet it was still worse than she could handle.

And he is patient. That is why I could never handle hearings like this. I'm too much like Ann Coulter. I would be saying, Okay Kennedy let me ask you some questions about your sordid past.

ABF: Totally agree!!