"Judge Samuel Alito may agree on many issues with conservative Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. But President Bush's high-court nominee often has taken a different path toward similar legal conclusions, one that is more subtle and less dismissive of precedent."
"Since the Nixon and Reagan administrations, conservatives have yearned to overturn many of the Warren Court's equal-protection precedents. Nothing in the Constitution barred laws to 'discourage formation of illicit family relationships,' Justice William Rehnquist wrote in dissenting from a 1972 ruling that found it unconstitutional to exclude illegitimate children from collecting workman's compensation for their father's death.
"Judge Alito approached things differently. In his 23-page article, 'Equal Protection and Classifications Based on Family Membership,' (PDF) he offered conservatives a novel way to read the jurisprudence as consistent with 'the state's interest in promoting the traditional family.' The approach appeared to respect the precedents while denying them the impact that some legal authoritiesincluding, perhaps, the justices themselvesexpected."
"Judge Alito 'massages the precedents to make them say what he wants them to say. That's a very different aesthetic than Scalia,' says Prof. Robert Post of Yale Law School, a former clerk to the liberal Justice William Brennan. Judge Alito's 'sensibility is not to beat up the Warren Court as illegitimate, but to get what he wants out of the Warren Court.'
"Similarly, critics say, Judge Alito's recent opinions have asserted an allegiance to precedenteven when reaching a more conservative outcome than the Supreme Court later would accept. That approach could lead to readings of liberal precedents, such as the 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion upholding abortion rights, that diminish their scope without explicitly overruling them." ...
Samuel Alito Profiles:
University of Michigan Law Library
- ► 2012 (88)
- ► 2007 (63)
- ► 2006 (178)
- New Orleans: first public wifi city
- Edward Wernecke: Parental Rights at Risk
- Sen. Coburn supports pay-as-you-go
- Dr. Coburn denied non-profit medical practice
- It's Official: NTM has 90 days to leave Venezuela...
- Judge Alito: Massager of Precedents
- Katie Wernecke's judge had conflict of interest
- Interstate Telecommuting = Double Taxation
- The Big Jesus
- Katie Wernecke returns to Texas
- Budget/Deficit bill: Vote 'no'; no wait, vote 'ye...
- Pastor looks to disorganize religion
- Democrats: public policies rooted in faith
- A House of partisan carrots and sticks
- First Day in Supreme Court Conference
- Professor Alito: on the frontier of law
- Portable Landscaping
- Katie Wernecke on High Dose Vitamin C
- Paul Devlin's Power Trip in Texas
- VA Governor Mark Warner on the Democrats, the defi...
- VA Governor Mark Warner on life, business and poli...
- Justice Kennedy: the next swing vote
- On Alito, Women and Notice
- Katie Wernecke goes home
- Ham radio for home-schoolers
- Katie Wernecke's parents get to be parents
- Alito on abortion: pro-life 1, pro-choice 3
- ▼ November (27)
- ► 2004 (321)
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