This week I was proud to nominate Judge Sam Alito to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Alito is one of America's most accomplished and respected judges. During his long career in public service, he has demonstrated all the qualities that the American people expect in a Supreme Court Justice: mastery of the law, a deep commitment to justice, and great personal character. He is scholarly, fair-minded, and principled, and these traits will serve our nation well on our highest court.
Judge Alito now serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. When he was nominated to his current seat in 1990, Judge Alito received strong bipartisan support, and the United States Senate confirmed him by unanimous consent. He has served on that court with distinction for 15 years, and now has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years.
During his career on the bench, Judge Alito has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. He has demonstrated that he understands the proper role of a judge: to interpret the Constitution and laws, not to impose the judge's own preferences or priorities on the people. And in the performance of his duties, Judge Alito's brilliance, his modesty, and his even demeanor have gained him the respect of his colleagues and of the attorneys appearing before him.
Prior to becoming a judge, Sam Alito served for three years as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. When President Reagan nominated him to this position in 1987, the Senate confirmed him by unanimous consent. As the top prosecutor in one of the nation's largest federal districts, Sam Alito moved aggressively against white-collar and environmental crimes, drug trafficking, organized crime, and violations of civil rights.
He showed a passionate commitment to the rule of law, and he gained a reputation for being both tough and fair. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, Sam Alito served in other critical positions in the Department of Justice. In the Office of Legal Counsel, he provided constitutional advice for the President and the executive branch. As Assistant to the Solicitor General, he argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he argued dozens of cases before the federal courts of appeals.
The son of an Italian immigrant who came to America in 1914, Sam Alito is a product of New Jersey public schools. He was valedictorian and student council president at Hamilton East-Steinert High School in Hamilton, New Jersey. He went on to become a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University. He attended Yale Law School and was editor of the Yale Law Journal. After graduating from law school, he was a law clerk for a federal court of appeals judge. He has served in the Army Reserves, where he achieved the rank of captain.
Sam Alito's life has been marked by consistent excellence and achievement, combined with personal decency and a commitment to public service.The United States Senate will now exercise its constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on Judge Alito's nomination. The process is off to a good start. Since I announced his nomination, Judge Alito has met with many senators, and they are learning more about his great character, accomplishments, and ability.
Our nation is fortunate to have a man of Judge Alito's intellect and integrity willing to serve. I look forward to the Senate voting to confirm Judge Alito as the 110th Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Thank you for listening.