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May 1, 2006

The impact of former prosecutor Alito

Charles Lane has this piece in the Washington Post focused on Justice Alito's likely role as a swing vote in the three cases that the Supreme Court has ordered re-argued since his arrival.  The piece notes a point I made recently in this post, namely that all the cases ordered to be re-argued involve criminal justice or related issues, and also spotlights Justice Alito's professional history as a federal prosecutor.  Here's a taste:

In oral arguments so far, Alito has generally been in a listening mode, limiting himself to a few terse questions.  But in the second argument of Garcetti v. Ceballos, he was more active, speaking up a dozen times.  At least one of his remarks seemed to hearken back to his own experience as a prosecutor.

When Ceballos's lawyer, Bonnie I. Robin-Vergeer, suggested that U.S. attorneys and district attorneys might be "blind-sided by cover-ups" unless their employees felt safe coming forward with charges of wrongdoing, Alito noted that he was not so pessimistic about prosecutors' openness to bad news. "In most instances, they would not be hostile to receiving that kind of information if it was provided to them," he said.

May 1, 2006 at 07:30 AM | Permalink


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