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Monday, October 31, 2005

Scalito, Schmalito

Posted by on October 31 at 10:31 AM

So, Bush nominated the conservative favorite Samuel A. Alito for Sandra Day O’Connor’s associate justice seat. Known as “Scalito”—that’s little Scalia, for those unfamiliar with Romance languages—Alito is a strong conservative who sits on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. In his most famous dissent (Planned Parenthood v. Casey—download the PDF here), he argued a law requiring women to inform their husbands before having an abortion was a-okay.

Like Judge Roberts, Alito is a Catholic. Is anyone else finding it weird that so many Catholics are affiliated with an originalist/textualist judicial philosophy? I would think that the Catholic “Scripture+Church tradition” religious model would incline judges to a “Constitution+precedent” legal model (as opposed to the traditional Protestant reliance on the Bible alone, which would be analogous to the originalist dependence on the literal word of the Constitution).