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Sunday, November 27, 2005

My Main Concern about Judge Alito

When voting for state court judges, I'm reluctant to vote for judicial candidates whose only legal experience has been working as a prosecutor. Too many judges here in Ohio seem to go straight from law school to the prosecutor's office to the judiciary. While I don't hold prosecutorial experience against a judicial candidate, I prefer candidates who have also seen the legal system from the other side.

The same principle should apply to candidates for the federal judiciary as well, and that's why I'm wary of Judge Samuel Alito. Talk Left points to this summary of Judge Alito's legal career from Legal Intelligencer:

After a clerkship with 3rd Circuit Judge Leonard I. Garth, Alito worked as a front-line federal prosecutor in New Jersey for four years. But soon after President Ronald Reagan was elected, Alito joined the Office of the Solicitor General, staying for four years and helping to decide what position the administration would take in cases up for review by the Supreme Court.

That was followed by a three-year stint at Main Justice as a deputy assistant attorney general. In 1987, at the age of 37, Alito was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, a post he held until he was tapped in 1990 by the first President Bush to join the 3rd Circuit.

In Judge Alito's entire career as an advocate, his only client was the federal government. When deciding between the power of government and the rights of citizens, which side do you think he'll be inclined to favor?


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