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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito - Biography

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US Supreme Court Justice

Alio, the 100th US Justice, was confirmed on a 58-42 Senate vote and sworn in on 31 January 2006. He is the second conservative Bush nominee to be confirmed the US Supreme Court.

Overview:

As a Judge, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito was considered staunchly conservative, based on his court opinions, and is sometimes compared with Justice Antonin Scalia (his nickname is Scalito). He was nominated to the Third Circuit Court by George H.W. Bush in 1990. He was an aide to Attorney General Ed Meese in the Reagan Administration. While at the Department of Justice, Alito argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court.

Background and Education:

Born 1 April 1950 in Trenton, NJ, Alito received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale. He clerked for Judge Leonard Garth of the Third Circuit. From 1977-1980, he was an assistant US Attorney in the appellate division. From 1981-1985, he was an assistant to the solicitor general in the Justice Department. From 1985-1987, he provided constitutional advice for the Reagan administration. From 1987-1989, Alito was the US attorney in New Jersey.

Most Controversial Decision:

His was the sole dissent in a 1991 decision overruling a Pennsylvania law which restricted abortion. The Supreme Court upheld the lower court decisioin (6-3) with O'Connor co-writing the majority opinion with Anthony Kennedy and David Souter.

Supporters:

In his nomination speech, President Bush described Alito as having an "extraordinary breadth of experience."

"If one seeks the qualities of a judge (temperament, impartiality, integrity, dedication) and substantial federal service in the executive and judiciary departments alike, there are few better." - Doug Kmiec, Pepperdine University Law School and former Reagan official

"Outstanding nominee." - Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN)

Opponants:

"It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America, instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor." - Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

"President Bush would leave the Supreme Court looking less like America and more like an old boys' club." - Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

People for the American Way calls him "out of the mainstream."
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