Alito & Precedent

by Jonathan H. Adler

From an article by Charles Lane in today’s Washington Post:

“If he learned anything from me, he learned the value of stare decisis ,” said Judge Leonard I. Garth, a Nixon appointee on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit for whom Alito, 55, served as a law clerk in 1976-77 — and later joined as a colleague on the court.

But Garth added: “If what you’re thinking is ‘Would Sam overrule Roe ?’ — he would not. He might have restrictions and limitations, but it is a precedent he’d honor. As a previous mentor and as a present colleague, I don’t think he’ll overrule it.” . . . .

“Based on my experience, he has an abiding respect for stare decisis , and frankly I’ve never seen anything that would give rise to a hint of disrespect for precedent,” said Timothy K. Lewis, a Washington lawyer who served on the 3rd Circuit from 1992 to 1999. “He is unequivocally not a judicial activist in any way, shape or form.”

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