Alito Picks Uber-Right Law Clerk
Justice Sam Alito has chosen his five law clerks. The latest pick is not someone just out of law school, but a former Justice Department lawyer who was a close confidant of John Ashcroft:
Adam G. Ciongoli, 37, a senior vice president at Time Warner Inc., served as counselor to Ashcroft from 2001 to 2003. He attended Georgetown University Law Center, clerked for Alito at the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit from 1995 to 1996, and helped prepare the justice for his recent confirmation hearings.
Ciongoli was an aide to Ashcroft during Ashcroft's years as a senator and then came to the Justice Department, where he advised Ashcroft on terrorism issues in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Among the issues he worked on were the detention of thousands of terrorism suspects in the United States and the use of military tribunals to try them.
Among those who have come to the court after working elsewhere, none in recent memory had held a government position as senior as Ciongoli's at the Justice Department, where he was widely regarded as one of Ashcroft's closest confidants.
Ciongoli will be tasked with heping Justice Alito write opinions (translation: he will draft them subject to the judge's approval) on many of the same issues he on which he previously advocated the Government's position.
Can you spell c-o-n-f-l-i-c-t? Apparantly, Justice Alito cannot.
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