Bench Memos

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Alito’s Questionnaire Response and the Thornburgh Case


I hope to find time to say more on this later today, but as for the Left’s charges that Alito should have included the Thornburgh case in his questionnaire response, consider what his then-colleague Albert Lauber (a self-described “openly gay Democrat”) had to say, as reported in a Bloomberg article from yesterday. (I haven’t yet found the article online but will link to it when I do.)

Lauber also defended Alito against criticism by New York Democratic Senator Charles E. Schumer that the nominee should have mentioned his work on the 1985 abortion case in responses to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire. Alito was asked to describe his experience practicing before the Supreme Court as an assistant to the solicitor general and to provide copies of briefs filed “in connection with your practice.”

In a letter to Alito, Schumer said it was “puzzling” that he hadn’t mentioned his involvement in the 1985 case.

Alito omitted mention of the Pennsylvania case because he probably thought the senators were seeking copies of briefs that he signed, Lauber said. Alito wasn’t assigned to the 1985 case and was offering his assistance, Lauber said.

In the solicitor general’s office “there is a lot of collegial give and take with people helping each other out,” Lauber said. “You work on a lot more cases than you sign.”


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