Birthday: April 1, 1950
Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Aries
Also Known As: Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.
Born Country: United States
Born in: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Famous as: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Spouse/Ex-: Martha Bomgardner (m. 1985)
father: Samuel A. Alito Sr
mother: Rose Fradusco
siblings: Rosemary Alito
children: Laura Alito, Philip Alito
Ancestry: Italian Americans
U.S. State: New Jersey
City: Trenton, New Jersey
education: Yale Law School (1975), Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (1972), Steinert High School
Who is Samuel Alito?
Samuel Alito is an American judge who has been serving as the associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since January 2006. A Yale law graduate, he was a prominent figure in the legal circuit since his university days. He later served the military and was discharged as a captain in 1980. After serving appellate judges, Alito became an assistant United States attorney of the district of New Jersey. He eventually became a district attorney and then the appellate justice for the Third Circuit in 1990. In his tenure spanning over a decade, Alito delivered several judgments based on his conservative legal theory, which became a subject of debate after President George W. Bush nominated him for the post of the associate justice of the Supreme Court. A special hearing was conducted for the nomination polls, which he ultimately won. Some of the landmark cases that Alito has judged are the McDonald v. Chicago case, the Murphy v. NCAA case, the Janus v. AFSCME case, and the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case.
Childhood & Early Life
Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. was born on April 1, 1950, in Trenton, New Jersey, U.S., to an Italian immigrant father, Samuel A. Alito, Sr., and an Italian–American mother, Rose Francisco. His father was a high-school teacher and then became the first director of the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services (1952 to 1984). His mother, too, worked as a schoolteacher.
Alito attended the Steinert High School in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. After completing his BA degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University in 1972, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1975. Alito chaired The Boundaries of Privacy in American Society in 1971 at Princeton.
While at Princeton, in 1970, Alito attended training for the Army ROTC program at Fort Knox, Kentucky. As mentioned in a job application, he was a member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton that opposed the university's decision to admit women. However, Alito's involvement in the group is debatable.
Samuel Alito led the debate panel of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society while at Princeton. He was a member of Stevenson Hall.
In his senior year at Princeton, Alito went to Italy to write a thesis on the Italian legal system.
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Samuel Alito was drafted as a commissioned second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, deployed to the United States Army Reserve. He started his active duty after graduating from Yale and continued until December 1975, after which he was mostly associated with the inactive Reserves.
Alito was honorably discharged as a captain in 1980.
In 1975, Samuel Alito became an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He worked as a clerk for appellate judge Leonard I. Garth in Newark in 1976 and 1977.
As an assistant United States attorney from the district of New Jersey (between 1977 and 1981), Alito presided over several cases against drug trafficking and organized crime.
From 1981 to 1985, Alito represented the federal government in around 12 cases before the Supreme Court while serving as an assistant to solicitor general Rex E. Lee. He then served the Office of Legal Counsel as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General until 1987.
From 1987, Samuel Alito began serving as the New Jersey district attorney until he was instated as the judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in April 1990. He served in his chambers in Newark, New Jersey, until January 2006.
As an appellate judge, Alito had the reputation of being unpredictable and conservative in his opinions. He supported the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act of 1982.
In 2001, Alito agreed to nullify an anti-harassment policy of a public school in the district, as it breached the First Amendment.
After Conservative associate justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve the U.S. Supreme Court, announced her retirement in July 2005, everyone considered Alito as an excellent conservative replacement.
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President Bush officially nominated Samuel Alito for the post on October 31, 2005, and submitted to the senate the following month. He received the highest ratings ever from the Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary of The American Bar Association. However, a section of people, such as the Democrats, who were apprehensive of Alito's extreme conservatism, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), opposed the nomination.
A judicial hearing was conducted on the confirmation of Samuel Alito's nomination, from January 9 to 13, 2006. While the supporters applauded him for his honesty and calm nature, the opponents stressed that Alito's conservatism was against the rights of the criminally accused, women, and minorities.
The Republicans argued for making Alito's professional achievements the base of the judgment, while the Democrats wanted his political ideology to be given more importance.
Samuel Alito's nomination was finally confirmed, and he was sworn in as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court on January 31, 2006. With that, he became the second Italian–American and the 11th Catholic justice in the history of the Supreme Court.
The hearing delayed Alito's confirmation. Hence, he assumed duties in the middle of the term. Therefore, he could not participate in the decisions of many of the early cases, which were later released without his participation. Some of his later cases were the Garcetti v. Ceballos case, the Hudson v. Michigan case, and the Kansas v. Marsh case. Alito was extremely conservative in his decisions.
Samuel Alito's first written opinion was in the Holmes v. South Carolina case, which he wrote on May 1, 2006. In May 2007, he wrote for the majority, dismissing Lilly Ledbetter's lawsuit for pay discrimination against her employer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
In March 2011, Alito was the only one to opine against the rights of the Westboro Baptist Church. The majority concluded the case, arguing that according to the First Amendment, the church had the right to protest against homosexuality at military funerals.
On June 25, 2013, Alito wrote a majority opinion for the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, where an unwed non-custodial parent was allowed to use the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act to book for an adoption.
Samuel Alito served as an adjunct professor, teaching courses on constitutional law and a special course on terrorism and civil liberties at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark from 1999 to 2004.
Being a conservative lawyer, he has represented the Federalist Society, a group strictly meant for libertarian lawyers that additionally serves as a platform for aspiring law students interested in conservatism.
Alito has also served as a visiting professor at the Duke University School of Law and has delivered lectures on current issues in constitutional interpretation. He has also taught a course under the Master of Laws in Judicial Studies program.
His lecture titled The Origin of the Baseball Antitrust Exemption, delivered during the 2008 Annual Lecture at the Supreme Court Historical Society, has been featured in two journals.
Awards & Honors
In 1995, the Seton Hall University School of Law honored Samuel Alito with the Saint Thomas More Medal.
On May 25, 2007, the school granted him an honorary law degree.
Samuel Alito has been married to Martha-Ann Bomgardner since 1985. Martha is a former law librarian. They have two children, Philip and Laura.
In 2013, former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice revealed that the agency had put Alito, his phones, staff, and family under surveillance in both 2002 and 2003.
An avid baseball fan, Alito supports the Philadelphia Phillies.