Samuel Alito has submitted his 64-page questionnaire to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The questionnaire reveals that Alito interviewed for a potential Supreme Court opening as early as 2001. On the question of his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, he writes:
This was a group of Princeton alumni. A document I recently reviewed reflects that I was a member of the group in the 1980s. Apart from that document, I have no recollection of being a member, of attending meetings, or otherwise participating in the activities of the group.I assume the referenced document is Alito's 1985 OLC job application. On the role of the federal courts and the job of judging, Alito writes:
A paradox is inherent in our constitutional structure. The framers of the Constitution generally did not think that government institutions and actors could be trusted to refrain from unduly extending their own powers, but our constitutional system relies heavily on the judiciary to restrain itself. To do this, judges must engage in a continual process of self-questioning about the way in which they are performing the responsibilities of their offices. Judges must also have faith that the cause of justice in the long run is best served if they scrupulously heed the limits of their role rather than transgressing those limits in an effort to achieve a desired result in a particular case. Judges must maintain a deep respect for the authority of the other branches of government – based on their democratic legitimacy – and a keen appreciation of the comparative advantages that other government institutions and actors have in making empirical judgments, devising comprehensive solutions for social problems, and administering complex programs and institutions. In addition, judges must be appropriately modest in their estimation of their own abilities; they must respect the judgments reached by predecessors; and they must be sensibly cautious about the scope of their decisions. And judges should do all these things without shirking their duty to say what the law is and to carry out their proper role with energy and independence.Thanks to Bench Memos for the link.