Associate Justice Samuel Alito

Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. was nominated by President George W. Bush to the United States Supreme Court. He took office on January 31, 2006, and was preceded by Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Since his appointment, Justice Alito has built a strong reputation for conservative rulings and played an important role in several landmark cases.

Education and Clerkships

Justice Alito graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a Bachelor of Arts in 1972. Following Princeton, Justice Alito continued his studies at Yale Law School. Justice Alito served as the editor of the Yale Law Journal and earned his J.D. in 1975.

After graduating from law school, Justice Alito began clerking for Hon. Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Justice Alito clerked from 1976 to 1977, when he then became an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

Law Practice

Prior to his appointment as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Justice Alito served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1981 to 1985. He then served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice until 1987. Justice Alito was also a U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1987 to 1990.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush nominated Justice Alito to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was confirmed with the unanimous consent of the Senate. Justice Alito's most notable decisions involved topics such as abortion, federalism, and constitutional rights.

Fifteen years later, Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court. President George W. Bush announced that he was nominating Justice Alito to fill Justice O'Connor's vacancy in October 2005. Justice Alito was then confirmed and sworn in by the Senate as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in January 2006. He has since continued serving the U.S. Supreme Court.

Notable Decisions

Justice Alito has authored several majority and dissenting opinions since he joined the Supreme Court in 2006. Justice Alito holds a reputation as one of the Supreme Court's most conservative justices.

Justice Alito authored the majority opinion in:

Justice Alito also wrote the majority opinion for Kansas v. Garcia (2020), which addressed the Preemption and Immigration Reform and Control Act, and Hernandez v. Mesa (2020), which held that plaintiffs couldn't sue U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents for damages. One of his best-known dissenting opinions was in Snyder v. Phelps (2011), which involved freedom of speech.

Most notably, however, Justice Alito authored the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (2022), which overruled both Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (1992). The opinion held that there is no constitutional right to abortion.

Learn More: Why Was Roe v. Wade Overturned?

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