Princeton University, A.B., 1972; Yale Law School, J.D., 1975 Law Clerkship
Law clerk, Hon. Leonard I. Garth, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1976-1977
Assistant U.S. attorney, District of New Jersey, 1977-1981; Assistant to the U.S. solicitor general, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, 1981-1985; Deputy assistant U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, 1985-1987; U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, 1987-1990
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit: Nominated by George H.W. Bush on February 20, 1990, to a seat vacated by John Joseph Gibbons; Confirmed by the Senate on April 27, 1990, and received commission on April 30, 1990. Appointed to U.S Supreme Court by President George W. Bush 2006
WASHINGTON - Twenty-one months after joining the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel Alito has figured out how to overcome that uneasy feeling of wanting to ask a question at oral argument without cutting off a colleague.
Connie Lensing, a lawyer representing FedEx Corp. in an age discrimination lawsuit, got through just two complete sentences Tuesday before Alito chimed in with a question that tested the limits of the company's argument.
The FedEx case was the third this week at which Alito asked the first question. More assertive in his second full term, Alito had never before been the first to jump into the rough-and-tumble of oral argument.
Alito has acknowledged he found it difficult sometimes "to get a word in edgewise" among the several former law professors on the Supreme Court. Speaking at Pepperdine University in August, Alito said that the other justices are so talkative that "it's extremely difficult to get a question in."
In asking the first question, Alito is copying the approach of his predecessor, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She frequently was the first justice to interrupt a lawyer's argument.
Oral argument is the one forum in which Alito may go first. At the court's private conferences, the junior justice speaks last and is responsible for opening the door if someone knocks.
The justices may disagree intensely from time to time, but at the Supreme Court it's never a bad idea to butter up the boss.
Justice Department lawyer Malcolm Stewart was winding up his presentation Tuesday in a case about whether a lawsuit was filed too late. Justice John Paul Stevens posed one final question about an obscure but similar 17-year-old case in which the court sided with the government against a fired employee who missed a deadline to sue. But the justices did not go as far as the government wanted in laying down a rule to govern future disputes.
"I take it you would agree with me that the government was particularly well represented in that case, wouldn't you?" Stevens asked.
Stewart had a ready reply. "The government could not have been better represented, your honor," he said.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the discussion with some self-deprecatory humor. "It is hard to understand how they could have lost the case."
For almost 20 years, eight of the nine justices on the Supreme Court have assigned their law clerks to a shared legal labor pool that streamlines the work of reviewing incoming cases. Only Justice John Paul Stevens has declined to participate. He relies on his own clerks to help cull perhaps 80 worthy cases from the thousands of appeals, called petitions for certiorari, that reach the court each year. The justices who participate in the arrangement, known around the court as the “cert. pool,” receive a common “pool memo” on each case from a single clerk....
Justice Alito has said nothing publicly about his decision to exit the pool. His move was confirmed by Kathleen Arberg, the court’s public information officer.
Students of the court say there are costs and benefits to relying on pool memos, which are prepared by smart but relatively inexperienced law clerks. “The benefit is efficiency,” said David R. Stras, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied the subject.... But the pool system “does put enormous influence and power in a single clerk,” Professor Stras said, adding, “I’m quite sure there are cases that fall through the cracks.”
Some argue that having several sets of eyes review each petition — the pool clerk, along with clerks from the chambers of Justice Stevens and now Justice Alito — may serve as a valuable check. The pool system, though, has the virtue of ensuring that at least one clerk will give each petition a careful look, which might not be possible were each justice’s clerks to review every petition....
Critics of the cert. pool say it has led to homogenization and a lack of candor, a consequence of writing for an audience broader than only the clerk’s own justice. But the pool memorandums are often only a starting point, with each justice’s own clerks sometimes reviewing, highlighting and annotating the more important ones....
Justice Alito’s move reverses a trend lasting decades. The pool had grown steadily since it was conceived in the early 1970s at the suggestion of Justice Powell, who prized efficiency. At first, five justices participated. “In true Washington, D.C., fashion,” Kenneth W. Starr wrote of the cert. pool in the Minnesota Law Review in 2006, “this modest government program has grown significantly and now possesses great power.”...
The justices decided 67 cases last term, about half the number in an average year two decades ago. But Justice Alito has said the rise of the pool and the size of the docket are unrelated. “I don’t think the cert. pool is responsible,” he told Tony Mauro of Legal Times last year. “There are plenty of cases where the clerks recommend a grant, and we deny, and plenty where they recommend we deny, and we grant.”
Justice Alito joined the court in 2006 and is its most junior member. “Alito is starting to feel more comfortable and willing to rethink the way he does things,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Georgetown. Professor Lazarus said he welcomed the justice’s move, partly because it suggests that the court should reconsider how it decides which cases to hear. “It’s the court’s most vulnerable point,” Professor Lazarus said of the decision to hear or turn down a petition.
Practice safe sex.....Marry a death inmate...You'll never get none
seriously: I think Obama should have made them liquidate all their assets both business AND PERSONAL so they could climb over their own pile of s***; instead of expecting the American tax payers to do it.
Sept 1, 2019 20:35:38 GMT -5
seriously: Wake up people! Don't you realize that WE THE PEOPLE don't need the rich, THEY NEED US...to do the work that makes them richer so they don't have to clean their own toilets; and all we get is industrialized meats and crops, GMO's, antibiotic resistance.
Sept 1, 2019 20:38:53 GMT -5
seriously: Patented seed crops, running small farmer's out of business, toxic waste, poisoned water, dirty air, deforestation, global warming. By the way, who even wants to live in a GLOBAL GOVERNMENT world with a GLOBAL ECONOMY?
Sept 1, 2019 20:41:57 GMT -5
seriously: America should be more like Switzerland, fix our own 'broken wagon' and let the rest of the world fix theirs...it's not an U.S.A. problem. Screw oil, it pollutes the earth...GO SOLAR, WIND, WATER POWER! Screw the utility companies!
Sept 1, 2019 20:48:33 GMT -5
seriously: That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Best way to topple the rich...eliminate money and go back to the barter system; let the rich wipe their own bums and clean their own toilets...for a change! No more "Groom of the stool" for them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:51:50 GMT -5
seriously: Then banks and wall street can crash all they want; why should we be dragged down with them.
Sept 1, 2019 20:53:16 GMT -5
alanthony 007: hi, its alanthony; attorney " bartner and solicitor " for Miss Darlie Routier. I was out of town working on a high profile case. I'm back with an unusual part of the Law that will set my client free, so shall we proceed. first, everyone must listen to
Nov 27, 2019 20:52:02 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: Walter Barton (Arkie) has been on Missouri's capital punishment row for many, many years. He has been through 5 trials! Each time is guilty. He'll finally go to hell on May 19, 2020...
Feb 22, 2020 20:23:42 GMT -5
Jeffery Daughtery: This site has a locked ARKIE BOARD shouting out his innocence. Shout it out to the devil that his son will be home soon...
Feb 22, 2020 20:25:41 GMT -5
alanthony 008: why would anyone give a s*** about Barton, he is convicted of killing a nobody, and he,s one too.
Mar 20, 2020 4:19:50 GMT -5
alanthony 008: you know.. two pieces of tailor trash, its a waist were even typing about it .. so off he goes, who cares.
Mar 20, 2020 4:30:41 GMT -5