Word of the Day is...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Word of the Day is...

There's a nickname for federal appeals Judge Samuel Alito Jr. that captures two things at once -- his particular brand of legal conservatism and a recognition that his credentials are strong enough to put him on any Republican president's short-list for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Some lawyers call the judge "Scalito."

Roughly translated, the nickname means "Little Scalia," suggesting that Alito, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has modeled himself after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
So, the right got their mold-of-Scalia-and-Thomas after all. Scalito is the right-wing conservative activist judge they've been waiting for.
Alito's conservative stripes are equally evident in criminal law. Lawrence Lustberg, a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer who has known Alito since 1981 and tried cases before him on the Third Circuit, describes him as "an activist conservatist judge" who is tough on crime and narrowly construes prisoners' and criminals' rights.
Scalito is pretty out there on abortion-- lone dissenter in Planned Parenthood v. Casey when it was before the Third Circuit-- supporting a law requiring that women get their husband's permission to have an abortion. There's more on his record here.

This is not going to be a polite confirmation fight.

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