January 13, 2006

The Testimony of Samuel Alito's Colleagues, Part 2

Carroll Andrew Morse

After the American Bar Association Panel presented Samuel Alito's rating of well-qualified to the Senate Judiciary Committee, testimony was heard from the Judges who have served with Samuel Alito on the Third Circuit Court of appeals. Here are a few snippets

From Judge Edward Becker (appointed to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan)...

The Sam Alito that I have sat with for 15 years is not an ideologue. He's not a movement person. He's a real judge deciding each case on the facts and the law, not on his personal views, whatever they may be.

He scrupulously adheres to precedent. I have never seen him exhibit a bias against any class of litigation or litigants.

From Judge Anthony Scirica (appointed to the 3rd circuit in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan)...
Judge Alito approaches each case with an open mind and determines the proper application of the relevant law to the facts at hand. He has a deep respect for precedent. His reasoning is scrupulous and meticulous. He does not reach out to decide issues that are not presented in the case.
From Judge Maryanne Trump Barry (appointed to the 3rd circuit in 1999 by President Bill Clinton)...
Now, of course, in 1990 Judge Alito became Judge Alito. And you have heard the most glowing things said about Sam as a colleague on our court. I embrace every glowing statement.

Let me just conclude with this: Judge Alito is a man of remarkable intellectual gifts. He is a man with impeccable legal credentials.

He is a fair-minded man, a modest man, a humble man. And he reveres the rule of law.

From Judge Ruggero Aldisert (appointed to the 3rd circuit in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson)…
And as has been heard several times in this hearing, Justice O'Connor, in 1995, described her approach to judging. What she said then is even more important today. And I quote, "It cannot be too often stated that the greatest threats to our constitutional freedoms come in times of crisis. The only way for judges to mediate these conflicting impulses is to do what they should do anyway: Stay close to the record in each case that appears before them and make their judgments based on that alone."

And knowing Sam Alito as I do, I am struck by how accurately these words also describe the way in which he has performed his work as a United States circuit judge.

And that is why, with utmost enthusiasm, I recommend that he be confirmed as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.

From Judge Leonard Garth (appointed to the 3rd circuit in 1973 by President Richard Nixon)...
In my opinion, Sam is as well qualified as the most qualified justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court.

A word about Sam's demeanor is in order. Sam is and always has been reserved, soft spoken and thoughtful. He is also modest, and I would even say self-effacing. And these are the characteristics I think of when I think of Sam's personality. It is rare to find humility such as his in someone of such extraordinary ability.