HomeConstitutional LawLegal HistoryLegal EthicsEvidenceProfessional ResponsibilityContact MeSearch


Supreme Court Justices

Samuel Alito (1950 - )

Samuel Alito was born on April 1, 1950 in New Jersey. He attended Princeton University, from which he received a B.A. in 1972. He then entered the law school at Yale University, from which he received a J.D. Ater clerking for a federal judge for a year, Alito worked as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey for about four years. He then joined the Solicitor General's Office after the election of Ronald Reagan, where he remained for another four years. He then spent two years with the Office of the Attorney General. In 1990, Alito was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. After the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist on September 3, 2005, President George W. Bush decided to nominate John Roberts to replace Rehnquist instead of Sandra Day O'Connor. Bush initially nominated Harriett Miers, a longtime confidant and Secretary to President Bush, to replace O'Connor. The resulting uproar from conservative groups led Miers to withdraw from consideration. Bush then nominated Alito. Although attacked by a number of liberal interest groups as too conservative to replace the centrist O'Connor, the agreement by the Group of 14, 7 Republicans and 7 Democrats in the Senate who agreed not to filibuster unless "extraordinary circumstances" existed, meant a filibuster would not succeed, for more than 60 votes would exist to defeat it. After a half-hearted attempt by Sens. Kennedy and Kerry to create a filibuster failed, Alito was confirmed as the 110th Supreme Court Justice on January 30, 2006. Alito took the oath of office the next day.