Justice Alito at 10 Years

January 27th, 2016

In this month’s ABA Journal, Mark Walsh has a profile of Justice Alito’s ten years of service. Mark quotes me, and references my post about Alito’s remarks to the Federalist Society Texas Conference, where the Justice spoke at the George W. Bush Presidential library.

While the chief justice has spurned any contact with the Federalist Society, the conservative counterpart of the ACS, Alito has spoken frequently to the group and its affiliates. That includes a Texas event last September in which, according to one report, Alito reflected on his tenure and seemed to take some pleasure in the failed effort by Senate Democrats to filibuster his confirmation in 2006.

Josh Blackman, an associate professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, attended the Sept. 19 Federalist Society Texas Chapters Conference in Dallas. The event was held at the institute of the president who appointed Alito to the Supreme Court, George W. Bush. Blackman posted a detailed account of the event, which included Alito dishing on some of the big cases of his tenure, including those in which he was in the majority and in dissent.

Blackman, a libertarian, said Alito seemed to relish appearances before conservative and libertarian crowds such as those attending Federalist Society events. “This is a crowd that will appreciate the constitutional perspective that he brings to the job,” Blackman says. “That may not be the case when he speaks at a law school.”