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Samuel Alito on Homeland Security

Supreme Court Justice (nominated by Pres. George W. Bush 2005)


President can be challenged for not following Congressí laws

SEN. LEAHY: We passed the McCain-Warner statute against torture. The President didnít veto it. He signed it into law and then he wrote a signing statement basically saying that it will not apply to him or those acting under his orders if he doesnít want it to. Under a unitary theory of government, one could argue that he has an absolute right to ignore a law that the Congress has written. What kind of weight do you think should be given to signing statements?

ALITO: I donít see any connection between the concept of a unitary executive and the weight that should be given to signing statements in interpreting statutes. If a statute is not unconstitutional, then the statute is binding on the president and everyone else.

LEAHY: But does the president have unlimited power just to declare a statute--especially if it is a statute he had signed into law--unconstitutional, and that heís not going to follow it?

ALITO: It is emphatically the duty of the courts to say what is constitutional.

Source: Sam Alito Senate Confirmation Hearings , Jan 11, 2006

Government needs to justify domestic spying

[Regarding domestic spying], the government would have to come forward with its theory as to why the actions that were taken were lawful. If someone has been the subject of illegal law enforcement activities, they should have a day in court. Thatís what the courts are there for, to protect the rights of individuals against the government or anyone else who violates their rights. And they have to be absolutely independent and treat everybody equally.
Source: Sam Alito Senate Confirmation Hearings , Jan 10, 2006

Government role in providing for a strong defense

I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values.
Source: Alitoís application for Deputy Assistant Attorney General , Nov 15, 1985

Other Justices on Homeland Security: Samuel Alito on other issues:
Samuel Alito
Stephen Breyer
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Elena Kagan
Anthony Kennedy
John Roberts
Antonin Scalia
Sonia Sotomayor
Clarence Thomas

Former Justices:
David Souter
Sandra Day O'Connor
William Rehnquist
John Paul Stevens

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Page last updated: Jul 11, 2013