Judge Alito: Criminal Opinions Reflect His Days as Prosecutor

The Newark Ledger today has an analysis of more than 200 opinions Judge Alito authored on criminal law during his 15 years on the bench.

As senators and advocacy groups pore over legal writings by Alito, the New Jersey native nominated to the Supreme Court, they will find a by-the-book interpreter of the law whose opinions in criminal matters reflect his many years as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey and advocate for Justice Department in Washington.

If the decision is close, Alito tends to side with law enforcement and rarely treads new ground, according to interviews with legal scholars and a review of more than two dozen opinions he has written in the past 15 years....Alito seems willing to give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement.

The article cites several examples. [Via Sentencing Law and Policy whose author, Law Prof Doug Berman, is quoted in the article.]

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    Re: Judge Alito: Criminal Opinions Reflect His Day (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:04 PM EST
    i notice judge alito's law school, yale, is almost universally against his confirmation. not only for his arch-conservatism, but for his tortured opinions. apparently, the good judge never saw a constitutional right that he felt should actually be upheld. those silly founding fathers, whatever were they thinking?

    Re: Judge Alito: Criminal Opinions Reflect His Day (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:04 PM EST
    That's not a very accurate summary of this article from the NY Times, cpinva. In any event, the article is pretty anecdotal and haphazard. I was at Yale last weekend for my 30th reunion (Alito's class) and I found the sentiment there (among faculty and alums, not necessarily students) to be pretty mixed. The issue is not necessarily whether we would choose a judge like Alito for the Supreme Court if we had our druthers. (I certainly wouldn't.) I think it's necessary to consider the probability (nil, I'd say) that progressives will take over the Senate in 2006. So, this seat is not going to be kept open until we have a different President. To my mind, then, in the real world, the issue is whether you should oppose Judge Alito as compared with the other possibilities that might get appointed this year. As for Constitutional rights, you exaggerate: in fact, Alito has a very strong record on the First Amendment, both as to speech and as to free exercise of religion.