Expert Comment on Samuel Alito's Nomination to the Supreme Court

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-573-8151October 31, 2005

Expert Comment on Samuel Alito's Nomination to the Supreme Court

from the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Oct. 31, 2005

Nathaniel Persily, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, researches, teaches and writes about constitutional law, the Supreme Court, judicial appointments and constitutional history.

"With the nomination of Samuel Alito, President Bush has remained true to his promise to nominate judges similar to Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.  Although Judge Alito is reported to be of a different temperament than Justice Scalia, we should expect him to vote with him most of the time."

"In one respect, Alito is the anti-Miers.  He is well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, and has a long paper trail that gives the Senate a good idea about how he will behave as a justice.  He is not a moderate who wrings his hands to find the proper balance in a case, and he will be a predictable and reliable conservative, without a question mark on issues such as abortion and states' rights.  Some people will compare him to Justice Scalia.  They're both Italian, Catholic, conservative, not timid in overturning objectionable precedent, especially on abortion rights, or in striking down state and federal laws.  One interesting fact is, if confirmed, Alito would be the fifth Catholic on this court, creating a Catholic majority for the first time in American history."

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