by Steven Ertelt
October 31, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush nominated federal appeals court Judge Samuel Alito to replace pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court. The president hailed Alito, who serves on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has someone who "has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society."
"He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people," Bush said.
As a federal appellate court judge, Bush said Alito’s record "reveals a thoughtful judge who considers the legal matter — merits carefully and applies the law in a principled fashion."
In his comments, Judge Alito confirmed his dedication to those principles.
"Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system," Alito said.
"And I pledge that if confirmed I will do everything within my power to fulfill that responsibility," Alito added.
Bush made the announcement about Alito just days after White House counsel Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination. Miers came under intense scrutiny from pro-life groups who questioned her commitment to opposing abortion.
Alito’s nomination will likely draw strong opposition from pro-abortion Democrats and possibly a filibuster.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has already indicated it could set up a bitter partisan battle. An Alito nomination would "create a lot of problems" he warned over the weekend.
"If confirmed, Alito could very well fundamentally alter the balance of the court and push it dangerously to the right, placing at risk decades of American progress in safeguarding our fundamental rights and freedoms," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat.
Alito received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton in 1972 and a law degree from Yale in 1975. Alito served from 1981-1985 as assistant solicitor general in the Reagan Justice Department where he argued at least 12 cases before the Supreme Court.
He was deputy assistant U.S. attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1985-1987 and U.S. Attorney for New Jersey under President George H.W. Bush from 1987-1990.
The senior President Bush nominated Alito in 1990 to the Third Circuit, which includes New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The Senate confirmed him by unanimous consent on April 27, 1990.