George W. Bush photo

Remarks Announcing the Nomination of Samuel A. Alito, Jr., To Be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

October 31, 2005

Good morning. I'm pleased to announce my nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Alito is one of the most accomplished and respected judges in America, and his long career in public service has given him an extraordinary breadth of experience.

As a Justice Department official, Federal prosecutor, and judge on the United States Court of Appeals, Sam Alito has shown a mastery of the law, a deep commitment of justice, and a—and he is a man of enormous character. He's scholarly, fair-minded, and principled, and these qualities will serve our Nation well on the highest Court of the land.

Judge Alito showed great promise from the beginning in studies at Princeton and Yale Law School, as editor of the Yale Law Journal, as a clerk for a Federal court of appeals judge. He served in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged as a captain. Early in his career, Sam Alito worked as a Federal prosecutor and handled criminal and civil matters for the United States. As assistant to the Solicitor General, he argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court and has argued dozens of others before the Federal courts of appeals.

He served in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, providing constitutional advice for the President and the executive branch. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan named him the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, the top prosecutor in one of the Nation's largest Federal districts, and he was confirmed by unanimous consent by the Senate. He moved aggressively against white-collar and environmental crimes and drug trafficking and organized crime and violation of civil rights.

In his role, Sam Alito showed a passionate commitment to the rule of law, and he gained a reputation for being both tough and fair. In 1990, President Bush nominated Sam Alito, at the age of 39, for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Judge Alito's nomination received bipartisan support, and he was again confirmed by unanimous consent by the United States Senate. Judge Alito has served with distinction on that court for 15 years and now has more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years.

Judge Alito's reputation has only grown over the span of his service. He has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. This record reveals a thoughtful judge who considers the legal matter—merits carefully and applies the law in a principled fashion. He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people.

In the performance of his duties, Judge Alito has gained the respect of his colleagues and attorneys for his brilliance and decency. He's won admirers across the political spectrum. I'm confident that the United States Senate will be impressed by Judge Alito's distinguished record, his measured judicial temperament, and his tremendous personal integrity. And I urge the Senate to act promptly on this important nomination so that an up-or-down vote is held before the end of this year.

Today Judge Alito is joined by his wife, Martha, who was a law librarian when he first met her. Sam and I both know you can't go wrong marrying a librarian. Sam and Martha's two children, Phil and Laura, are also with us, and I know how proud you are of your dad today. I'm sure as well that Judge Alito is thinking of his mom, Rose, who will be 91 in December. And I know he's thinking about his late father; Samuel Alito, Sr., came to this country as an immigrant child from Italy in 1914, and his fine family has realized the great promise of our country.

Judge, thanks for agreeing to serve, and congratulations on your nomination.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:01 a.m. in the Cross Hall at the White House. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Associate Justice-designate Alito. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks Announcing the Nomination of Samuel A. Alito, Jr., To Be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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