Op-Ed - A Mistake to Judge Alito by a Label — It's better to look at personal traits than a paper trail

The Star-Ledger

Peter G. Verniero

November 03, 2005

In this editorial by Peter G. Verniero, former justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, former state attorney general, Chair of the Firm's Appellate Practice Group, and Co-Chair of the Firm's Corporate Internal Investigations and Business Crimes Practice Group, the issue of labeling judge Alito is addressed.

According to Mr. Verniero, "I disagree with almost every popular label used to describe judges -- labels such as "liberal," "conservative" or "activist" -- because they tell us little about how conscientious jurists are supposed to decide cases. Yet we will no doubt hear those labels repeatedly as the Senate considers whether to confirm Samuel Alito Jr., a federal appeals court judge from New Jersey, to fill a pivotal seat on the U.S. Supreme Court."

In this editorial, Mr. Verniero continues, "Judges are supposed to decide cases by applying the law to the facts established in the records before them -- leaving their personal views at the door. For that reason, I've never been terribly bothered by "stealth" nominees. So long as a nominee is intelligent and has a reputation for integrity, is industrious and possesses the temperament for the job, why shouldn't he or she sit on the Supreme Court?"

For a copy of this article, please contact Mr. Verniero.