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A Nominee of Consequence — Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

President George W. Bush announced the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a nomination of historic significance and a nominee of true stature. Judge Alito brings a lifetime of legal scholarship, judicial experience. and public record to this moment in history.

In making his announcement, President Bush stated: 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.

In response, Judge Alito reflected: Every time that I have entered the courtroom during the past 15 years, I have been mindful of the solemn responsibility that goes with service as a federal judge. Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system. And I pledge that if confirmed I will do everything within my power to fulfill that responsibility.

I owe a great deal to many people who have taught me over the years about the law and about judging, to judges before whom I have appeared, and to colleagues who have shown me with their examples what it means to be a fair and conscientious and temperate judge.

I also owe a great deal, of course, to the members of my family. I wish that my father had lived to see this day. He was an extraordinary man who came to the United States as a young child, and overcame many difficulties and made many sacrifices so that my sister and I would have opportunities that he did not enjoy.

As the President mentioned, my mother will be celebrating her 91st birthday next month. She was a pioneering and very dedicated public school teacher who inspired my sister and me with a love of learning. My wife, Martha, has been a constant source of love and support for the past 20 years. My children, Philip and Laura, are the pride of my life and they have made sure that being a judge has never gone to my head — they do that very well on a, pretty much, daily basis. And my sister, Rosemary, has always been a great friend and an inspiration as a great lawyer, and as a strong and independent person.

I look forward to working with the Senate in the confirmation process. Mr. President, thank you, once again, for the confidence that you’ve shown in me and for honoring me with this nomination.

Full White House statement available here.