Bush Picks Conservative Alito



“Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and restraint, always keeping in mind, the limited role that the courts play in our Constitutional System. And, I pledge if confirmed, I will do everything in my power to fulfill that responsibility.”

Samuel Alito
October 31, 2005

George Bush announced that Samuel Alito will be his nominee for the Supreme Court this morning:

“Judge Alito is one of the most accomplished and respected judges in America,” the president said in announcing Alito’s selection. “He’s got a mastery of the law and a deep commitment to justice.” Bush exhorted the Senate to confirm his choice by the end of the year.

The choice was likely to spark a political brawl. Unlike the nomination of Harriet Miers, which was derailed Thursday by Bush’s conservative allies, Alito faces opposition from Democrats.

“The Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

In contrast to Miers, Alito “has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in 70 years,” the president said.

So consistently conservative, Alito has been dubbed “Scalito” or “Scalia-lite” by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But while Scalia is outspoken and is known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered.

Early reports focus on his conservative record:

Samuel Alito has been a strong conservative jurist on the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a court with a reputation for being among the nation’s most liberal.
Dubbed “Scalito” or “Scalia-lite,” a play not only on his name but his opinions, Alito, 55, brings a hefty legal resume that belies his age. He has served on the federal appeals court for 15 years since President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1990.

Before that Alito was U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1987 to 1990, where his first assistant was a lawyer by the name of Michael Chertoff, now the Homeland Security secretary.

Alito was the deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration from 1985 to 1987 and assistant to the solicitor general from 1981 to 1985.

His New Jersey ties run deep. Alito, the son of an Italian immigrant, was born in Trenton and attended Princeton University. He headed to Connecticut to receive his law degree, graduating from Yale University in 1975.

If confirmed, Alito would be the fifth Catholic on the Supreme Court.

The AP has more on Alito’s “bio-box”.

CNN points out “Democrat says choice could pose a ‘lot of problems'”.

Here is the transcript of the President’s nomination comments on Alito.

Sen. Chuck Schumer aides the “rift healing” in the conservative ranks (via Polipundit and RCP Blog):

“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, who would unify us.”

“This controversial nominee, who would make the Court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people.”

Right Wing News rated the SCOTUS candidates yesterday.
Jeff Goldstein was correct in his assumptions last night.
Patterico has thoughts on the highly charged “Alito Dissent on Casey”.
Glenn Reynolds has a stream of links on the nomination already.
Michelle Malkin has some incredible quotes of Republican Senators talking tough!
RedState was on top of this news early.
Polipundit has a roundup and is very encouraged. (It will be interesting to see how each of the Polipundit players feels about Alito compared to the disagreements on Miers.)
California Conservative says its “Sca-lito’s Way!”

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