Justice Samuel Alito Bio, Age, Wife, Ideology, Retirement, Books, Educat…

Samuel Alito Biography

Samuel Alito (Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He has served since 31st January 2006, following his nomination by President George W. Bush. Alito is considered “one of the most conservative justices on the Court”. He has described himself as a “practical originalist.”

Samuel Alito Before Joining The Supreme Court

Raised in Hamilton Township Samuel Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Before joining the Supreme Court, he was also a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He is the 110th Justice, the second Italian American. He is also the eleventh Roman Catholic to serve on the court.

After graduating from Yale Law School in 1975, Samuel Alito clerked for Third Circuit appeals judge Leonard I. Garth in Newark, New Jersey. He interviewed with Supreme Court Justice Byron White for a clerkship but was not hired. Between 1977 and 1981, Alito was Assistant United States Attorney, District of New Jersey.

Samuel Alito As An Assistant U.S. Attorney

While an Assistant U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Samuel Alito prosecuted many cases. Majority of these cases involved drug trafficking and organized crime. He served as Assistant to U.S. Solicitor General Rex E. Lee from 1981 to 1985. In that capacity he argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court for the federal government.

Samuel Alito lost only two of these cases. From 1985 to 1987, Alito was Deputy Assistant Attorney General under Charles J. Cooper in the Office of Legal Counsel. This was during the tenure of Attorney General Edwin Meese. He authored nearly 470 pages of memorandums between 1986 and 1987. In these memorandums, he argued for expanding his client’s law enforcement and personnel authorities.

Samuel Alito Photo
Samuel Alito Photo

Samuel Alito espoused conservative views, naming William F. Buckley, Jr., the National Review, Alexander Bickel among others as major influences. This was during his application for Deputy Assistant Attorney General. He also expressed concern about Warren Court decisions. His concerns were in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause, and reapportionment.

Samuel Alito personally handled the trial, after an FBI agent was shot in the line of duty in 1988. He assigned himself the then-novice Stuart Rabner as an assistant, and secured the shooter’s conviction. The following year, he prosecuted a member of the Japanese Red Army for planning a terrorist bombing in Manhattan. Between 1999 and 2004.

Samuel Alito As A Lecturer

Samuel Alito served as adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark. He taught courses in constitutional law and an original course on terrorism and civil liberties. “In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of law” he was presented with the school’s Saint Thomas More Medal in 1995.

He delivered the commencement address at Seton Hall Law’s commencement ceremony in May 2007. He also received an honorary law degree from the school. As a visiting professor at Duke University School of Law, Alito taught Current Issues in Constitutional Interpretation in fall 2011 and a course in the Master of Laws in Judicial Studies program in summer 2012.


Samuel Alito has been a member of the Federalist Society, a group of conservatives and libertarian lawyers and legal students interested in conservative legal theory.

Samuel Alito Age

Samuel Alito was born in Trenton, New Jersey, United States of America. He was born on 1st April 1950. He is 69 years old as of 2019.

Samuel Alito Wife

Samuel Alito got married to his wife Martha-Ann Alito in 1985. Martha was a law librarian. She has family roots in Oklahoma. The two met during Alito’s many trips to the library as a law clerk. They have two grown children, Philip and Laura. Before his Supreme Court nomination, Alito resided with his family in West Caldwell, New Jersey. The family currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Samuel Alito Education

Samuel Alito graduated from Steinert High School in Hamilton Township. He was the class valedictorian. In 1972, he graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At Princeton, he chaired a student conference in 1971 called “The Boundaries of Privacy in American Society” .

Among other things, the conference supported curbs on domestic intelligence gathering. It also anticipated the need for a statute and a court to oversee national security surveillance. The conference report itself also called for the decriminalization of sodomy. It urged for an end to discrimination against gays in hiring by employers.

Samuel Alito also led the American Whig-Cliosophic Society’s Debate Panel during his time at Princeton. While a sophomore at Princeton, he received a low lottery number, 32, in the Selective Service drawing on December 1, 1969. He became a member of the school’s Army ROTC program, in 1970. That year he attended a six-week basic training camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

In Princeton

He was a member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. It was formed in October 1972 to oppose Princeton’s decisions regarding admitting women. Alito has cited the banning and subsequent treatment of ROTC by the university as his reason for belonging to CAP. During his senior year at Princeton, he moved out of New Jersey for the first time to study in Italy. While in Italy, he wrote his thesis on the Italian legal system.

Samuel Alito graduated in 1972. Leaving a sign of his lofty aspirations in his yearbook, he said that he hoped to “eventually warm a seat on the Supreme Court”. True to his words, he has. After graduating from Princeton, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was assigned to the United States Army Reserve.

At Yale Law School

Samuel Alito later attended Yale Law School. At Yale, he served as an editor on the Yale Law Journal and earned a Juris Doctor in 1975. He was a classmate of future-Dean Anthony T. Kronman and one year behind future Justice Clarence Thomas. He served on active duty from September to December 1975 after his graduation from Yale Law School.

The remainder of his time in the Army was served in the inactive Reserves. Samuel Alito was a captain when he received an honorable discharge in 1980.

Samuel Alito Ideology

Justice Samuel Alito has always had a pragmatic approach towards law. He has had many dissenting opinions on a number of rullings.

On Abortion

On a Third Circuit panel, the majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey overturned one part of a law regulating abortion The provision mandated that married women first inform their husbands if they sought an abortion. Samuel Alito, the third judge on the panel, disagreed, arguing that he would have upheld the spousal notification requirement along with the rest of the law.

On Federalism

Samuel Alito had a dissenting opinion in United States v. Rybar, 103 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 1996). He argued that a U.S. law banning private citizens from owning submachine guns was similar to one struck down by the Supreme Court in United States v. Lopez. Thus outside the authority of Congress under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

A majority opinion in Chittister v. Department of Community & Economic Development, 226 F.3d 223 (3d Cir. 2000). This case concerned an employee’s claim of wrongful termination under the Family and Medical Leave Act against the state of Pennsylvania. States are free to maintain sovereign immunity under the U.S. Constitution. Since Pennsylvania had maintained its immunity to such suits. Going against the majority he affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the employee’s claims.

On First Amendment

A dissenting opinion in Doe v. Groody. Samuel Alito argued that qualified immunity should have protected police officers from a finding of having violated constitutional rights when they strip-searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter. This was while carrying out a search warrant that authorized the search of a residence.
A unanimous opinion in Chadwick v. Janecka (3d Cir. 2002), holding that there was “no federal constitutional bar” to the “indefinite confinement” of a man imprisoned for civil contempt because he would not pay his $2.5 million debt to his wife.

On Civil rights

A majority opinion in Williams v. Price, 343 F.3d 223 (3d Cir. 2003), granting a writ of habeas corpus to a black state prisoner after state courts had refused to consider the testimony of a witness who stated that a juror had uttered derogatory remarks about blacks during an encounter in the courthouse after the conclusion of the trial.

A dissenting opinion in Glass v. Philadelphia Electric Company, 34 F.3d 188 (3rd Cir. 1994), arguing that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in excluding certain evidence of past conduct that defendant had created a hostile and racist work environment.
A majority opinion in Robinson v. City of Pittsburgh, 120 F.3d 1286 (3rd Cir. 1997), rejecting a female police officer’s Equal Protection-based sexual harassment and retaliation claims against the city and certain police officials and rejecting her Title VII-based retaliation claim against the city, but allowing her Title VII-based sexual harassment claim against the city.

Samuel Alito Retirement

After the resignation of Supreme court Judge, Anthony Kennedy in July 2018, there is a lot of speculations on who could go next. Supreme court Judges in the United States serve for life. However, reports indicate that President Donald Trump is hell bent on replacing at least four Judges during his first term.

Trump reportedly has suggested he hopes to remake nearly half of the US’s highest court in his image by making four separate appointments during his first term and so far, that’d already be half right. Upon taking office, Trump quickly filled the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. He appointed Neil Gorsuch, a conservative to fill the position.

The big question that has hitting the minds of Americans is who will be replaced and how. Not even the president can remove a sitting Supreme court judge in office. In the list of the judges who might be going home soon include Samuel Alito. But the relatively young Judge could be off the hook due to his age. The list could also be targetting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer.

She has reportedly returned to work after a recent hospital stint for lung cancer surgery. The 85-year-old’s health has raised speculation that President Donald Trump may get another chance to reshape the court. Trump has now secured two Supreme Court picks in the first half of his first term.

Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush appointed two justices each during their eight years in office. In October, the news website Axios cited an anonymous source detailing private predictions by Trump that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would retire during his term. Sonia is also experiencing health issues. So far, Trump has had the chance only to replace judges appointed by Republican presidents, and he is sure to nominate a conservative-leaning judge to replace Kennedy.

Samuel Alito Books

  • Foreword, 1 SETON HALL CIR. REV. 1 (2005).
  • Panel Speaker at the Federalist Society’s 2000 National Lawyers Convention: Presidential Oversight and the Administrative State, in 2 ENGAGE (Federalist Soc’y, Wash. D.C.) 11 (2001).
  • The Role of the Lawyer in the Criminal Justice System, 2 FEDERALIST SOC’Y CRIM. L. NEWS (Federalist Soc’y, Wash., D.C.) 3 (1998)
  • Change in Continuity at the Office of Legal Counsel, 15 CARDOZO L. REV. 507 (1993).
  • Reviewing the Sentencing Commission’s 1991 Annual Report, 5 FED. SENT. REP. 166 (1992).
  • The First Amendment: Information, Publication and the Media, 1 SETON HALL CONST. L.J. 327 (1991).
  • What Role Should Individual Sentencing Judges Play in the Guideline Development Process?, 1 FED SENT. REP. 372 (1989).
  • Racketeering Made Simple(r), in THE RICO RACKET 1 (Gary L. McDowell ed. 1989).
  • Introduction to After the Independent Counsel Decision: Is Separation of Powers Dead?, 26 AM. CRIM. L. REV. 1667 (1989).
  • Shift Won’t Hamper Crime Fight, DAILY J. (Vineland, N.J.), May 5, 1989.
  • The Year Wasn’t So Bad, NAT’L. L.J., Sep. 26, 1998, at 12.
  • Documents and the Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 48 U. PITT. L. REV. 27 (1986).
  • Equal Protection and Classification Based on Family Membership, 80 DICK. L. REV. 410 (1976).
  • “The “Released Time” Cases Revisited: A Study of Group Decisionmaking by the Supreme Court”. 83 YALE L.J. 1202. 1974. Archived from the original on February 22, 2015.
  • An Introduction to the Italian Constitutional Court (A.B. Thesis, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School Scholar Project, May 31, 1972)


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