« Judge Samuel Alito: Under His Robe | Main | Power-Washing the Supreme Judicial Deck »

October 31, 2005



what do natural disasters and man made law have in-freaking-common?


All the more interesting considering this.

Nervous in court? The question is moot
Star-Ledger, The (Newark, NJ)
April 29, 2004
Estimated printed pages: 2

* Names: Philip Alito, 17, and Justin Greenbaum, 18

* Hometown: West Caldwell

* Education: Seniors at James Caldwell High School

* Achievement: Won the Duke University Moot Court competition at Duke University in Durham, N.C.

* Competition: Alito and Greenbaum placed first in the mock trial competition held Feb. 21-22 at the university campus.

The two, the only team from New Jersey and the first from their school to participate in the event, also captured best speaker awards, with Alito winning best speaker and Greenbaum placing second.

The team competed as one of 36 high school teams from around the nation selected to argue a mock Supreme Court case against each other before a panel of judges, including real judges and Duke University professors and students.

"It was great," said Greenbaum of their victory. "We really couldn't believe it."

"It was a really gratifying feeling," said Alito. "From the beginning, we knew it was a great opportunity because there are not that many competitions like that. I know there are a few, but Duke seems to be the biggest one I have ever seen, and it incorporates kids from around the country."

The team learned about the competition in November, when their teacher, Suzanne Broffman, approached Alito and another classmate about entering. Alito said his teacher received the letter five days before the deadline, and the team decided to write the required application essay.

The team learned in January they were selected. At that time the other classmate, Matt Dell, was not able to attend the competition and Greenbaum replaced him on the team.

The pair practiced with their teacher and Alito's father, Sam, a federal appellate judge on the 3rd Circuit and former U.S. attorney for New Jersey, combing over Supreme Court precedent to prepare for the case they had to argue. It was 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, Greenbaum said.

The team had to be prepared to argue both sides of the case. Greenbaum said the preparation made them confident when they arrived at the competition.

"We were comfortable with the case," said Greenbaum. "We were going against teams that clearly just read what was handed to them. If they asked them something that wasn't in the speech, they were flustered. We were comfortable in moving around and not tied down to the paper."

The two brought home a large trophy, a 3-foot tall award, which caused some delay with security at the airport, Alito said.

"There was a quite a commotion with what to do with the trophy because they knew we couldn't have it with us on the plane because it was a blunt object," Alito said. "So we wrapped it in plastic and after plenty of twists and turns it ended up in the closet of the airplane."

* Back in school: The two high school seniors, who received various congratulations from the school and community, said they are preparing to graduate this year and attend college. Both students are undecided as to what colleges they will attend.

Greenbaum, who is involved in student government and the high school's music program, said he was thinking about majoring in political science.

Alito, an avid reader of Agatha Christie novels and a member of the tennis team, said he plans to study the fields of government, journalism or law.

* Alito's family: Father, Judge Sam Alito; mother, Martha, homemaker; sister, Laura, 16.

* Greenbaum's family: Father, Brad Greenbaum, insurance agent; mother, Lisa, work with husband's insurance agency; sister, Devon, 13.
1. Philip Alito, left, and Justin Greenbaum won a national competition in legal argument in North Carolina.
Page: 5

Copyright 2004 The Star-Ledger. All Rights Reserved. Used by NewsBank with Permission.
Record Number: sl20044091312dde


You might be right. As I said, It'll be interesting to see!

In response to Ryder's comment

Thanks for the info Ryder. In all honesty, I don't think he'll be selecting any more Ave Maria Law graduates if he is confirmed to the high Court. He's much more likely to have a barrage of Yale (and perhaps) U. Penn clerks since he graduated from the former and regularly took clerks from the latter (Penn obviously has the best law school in the 3rd Circuit area).

You were on CNN!

Your blog was just discussed on CNN live at 3:52pm. Just thought you would want to know.

usually happy with A3G

I expected more from you A3G. "Constitutional Option?" Please, the Republicans named it "nuclear option" in the first place. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option They don't get to change the term simply because it polls better as something else. Shame on you...


One of Alito's current clerks is a 2003 graduate of Ave Maria School of Law, the school's first graduating class. It will be interesting to see who Justice Alito hires for his (soon to be) new DC digs.

Allen Garvin

If Alito is confirmed, it looks like the 5th circuit will be the only one of the original 9 circuit courts (from 1891) to have never produced a Supreme Court justice (though one nominee not confirmed was produced: Carswell). If there's another vacancy perhaps Bush can remedy this with a fellow Texan like Owen or Garza.


The New York Times reported earlier that Alito was the first ever nominee from the Third Circuit. However, I can't find the article any more (sorry), and they've been wrong on things like this. So take it for what it's worth.


The students at the University of Pennsylvania Law School are very pleased with the nomination of the Honorable Samuel A. Alito. Judge Alito has been extremely kind in hiring many of our students for clerkship positions in the past, and we hope his generosity will continue when he is on the Court.


As to #2, remember that by all accounts, Secretary Chertoff failed miserably in his handling of Hurricane Katrina. Should we brace ourselves for a similar serious misstep by Justice Alito?

The comments to this entry are closed.