Article III Groupie actually has a very busy day -- and week -- ahead of her, so she's disappointed that the official announcement of Judge Samuel A. Alito's Supreme Court nomination comes at such a hectic time for her. But hey, the world doesn't revolve around A3G; it just seems that way sometimes. And even if President Bush's timing may not be ideal, his chosen nominee certainly is! (Check out Michelle Malkin's comprehensive round-up of blogospheric reaction, as well as Confirm Them, of course.)
Links to much of UTR's extensive past coverage of Judge Alito are collected in this post; if you're hungry for more information about the nominee, they should keep you well-fed for quite some time. In addition, here are some off-the-cuff observations and queries, plus a few links, concerning this morning's announcement by President Bush that he'll be nominating Judge Alito to the SCOTUS:
1. Does anyone know: When was the last time that a Third Circuit judge was nominated to the Supreme Court (if ever)?*
2. It's interesting to see President Bush turning once again to the Third Circuit for a home run of a pick (Michael Chertoff, Sam Alito), to salvage an initial nomination disaster (Bernard Kerik, Harriet Miers).
3. Judge Alito's acceptance speech was elegant, eloquent, excellent. A3G felt a shiver run up her spine when Judge Alito started to get choked up near the end of his remarks.
4. Some helpful surveys and analyses of Judge Alito's jurisprudence in specific areas: business law (Larry Ribstein); securities law (Dave Hoffman); copyright law (William Patry); sentencing and criminal law (Doug Berman).
5. Battle of the "juniors": Is Samuel A. Alito, Jr., an even stronger SCOTUS nominee than John G. Roberts, Jr.? Professor Ann Althouse thinks so; Ed Whelan, who clerked for Justice Scalia, shares that opinion.
7. Democratic Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bill Bradley supported Samuel Alito's prior nominations to serve as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and a judge on the Third Circuit. (Robe swish: How Appealing.)
8. Judge Alito's family is quite attractive. Judge Alito and his wife, Martha Alito, have two children, Philip Alito and Laura Alito. The kids are too old to be as adorable as Jack Roberts and Josie Roberts, but they're still rather photogenic.
9. Check out the results of Hugh Hewitt's cool SCOTUS poll, which show (a) tremendous support for the Alito nomination and (b) a willingness to consider the consitutional option if the Democrats attempt to mount a filibuster. (Granted, the audience of Hewitt's blog is not representative of the public at large; conservatives like A3G are overrepresented in his readership. But the poll results are still encouraging.)
10. Based on the Google searches bringing people to this blog, it's clear that many of you are curious about Judge Alito's religion. As noted by Professor David Bernstein, Judge Alito is Catholic; if he is confirmed, there will be a Catholic majority on the Supreme Court.
11. Alito's mother, Rose Alito, is amusingly outspoken. This AP article reports as follows:
[Judge Alito] was born on April Fool's Day to a mother who was candid enough to tell the world he was upset that he didn't get the Supreme Court nomination a month ago.... More candid that her son might wish, she said, ''I think he was upset that he didn't get there in the first shot, that Miers got it.''...
If confirmed, Alito would be the fifth Catholic on the Supreme Court. ''Of course he's against abortion,'' his mother said, another comment supporters in Washington might wish she'd held back.
12. As noted here, Judge Alito helped coach his son, Phil Alito, to victory in the 2004 Duke University Moot Court Competition. Phil and his partner, Justin Greenbaum, had to argue "a hypothetical case in which an alternative student publication wanted to publish an article about Sept. 11 praising the terrorist attacks and the students publishing the literary magazine charged their constitutional rights were violated by the school's censorship."
As noted in this comment, given the case the students had to work on, they couldn't have asked for a better coach. At the time, Judge Alito had pending before him a high-profile appeal raising First Amendment issues in the student newspaper context. How neat!
* Update: This appears to be the first time that a Third Circuit judge has been nominated to the Supreme Court. A reader drew A3G's attention to this helpful chart of former Third Circuit judges and how their judicial appointments were terminated (e.g., by resignation, death, and even an impeachment back in 1913). No appointment on the list was terminated because of appointment to the Supreme Court. Although it's possible that a Third Circuit judge could have been nominated but not confirmed to the Supreme Court, A3G is not aware of that happening.
A further update: Howard Bashman confirms that "Judge Alito is also the first judge serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ever to have been nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court." Howard is also a big fan of Judge Alito:
At some point over the days to come, I will explain why I enthusiastically support this nomination. For now, my wife (who thinks Judge Alito is a great person, too) and I just want to take a moment to wish Judge Alito well in the days ahead, for he is a truly kind, intelligent, and compassionate person who undoubtedly will serve the Nation with great distinction on the Supreme Court just as he has served to this point with great distinction as a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.