Saturday, October 29, 2005


Shannon Duffy of the Legal Intelligencer has this article about potential Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito of the Third Circuit:
On the hot-button issues, Alito has been consistently conservative -- so conservative that some lawyers have given him the nickname "Scalito." Roughly translated, the nickname means "Little Scalia," suggesting that Alito has modeled his judicial philosophy after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
* * *

In the media frenzy that accompanies any Supreme Court nomination, Alito's nickname is sure to surface. One Internet Web site is already poised to cash in on opposition to many of the potential nominees with a line of bumper stickers. Among the offerings is one that reads: "There's a reason they call him 'Scalito.'"

In some ways, the "Scalito" moniker hits the mark. In his 13 years on the 3rd Circuit, Alito has earned his stripes as a strong and intelligent voice on the growing conservative wing of a court once considered among the country's most liberal.

And as with Scalia, lawyers say Alito's vote is easy to predict in highly charged cases. But where the nickname misses is temperament, or what some might call personality. Both on the bench and in person, Alito is no Scalia.

Although he's a frequent dissenter and not at all afraid to disagree with his colleagues, Alito's opinions are usually devoid of passion. And his tone during oral arguments is probing but always polite -- a sharp contrast from the often-caustic tone adopted by Scalia both on the bench and in his dissents.

Oddly enough, the "Scalito" nickname seems to have caught on even among some conservatives who appear to use it as a compliment.
And oddly enough, Shannon Duffy was the first person to coin the nickname "Scalito" in the first place. In a comment to one of my earlier posts questioning the origin of the "Scalito" nickname, Mr. Duffy left this comment:
I'm the one who nick-named Alito "Scalito." The National Law Journal article you refer to was written by Joseph Slobodzian. At the time, he and I were both reporters covering the federal courthouse in Philadelphia - he for the Philadelphia Inquirer and I for the Legal Intelligencer. He did some freelancing for NLJ and we had several discussions at the time he wrote that article. I knew as soon as it was published that my nickname would stick, but I never would have guessed just how popular it would become.


Blogger n said...

Scaleeeeeeeeeeeeeto! I think we're witnessing the criminalization of wordplay. ;)

4:11 PM  

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