10 Things You Didn't Know About Samuel Alito

10 interesting facts about the Supreme Court justice.

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1. Samuel Alito Jr. was born on April 1, 1950, in Trenton, N.J., and raised in a nearby suburb. His mother is a former schoolteacher and principal. His father, an Italian immigrant and high school teacher, attended law school later in life and became the executive director of New Jersey's bill-drafting Office of Legislative Services. Alito's sister Rosemary, a former television reporter, is an employment defense lawyer.

2. Alito went to a public high school where he was active in more than 10 clubs, including the debate team, band, track, and the honor society. He served as president of the student council and graduated as class valedictorian.

3. Alito attended Princeton University during the Vietnam War, during which he was assigned a low draft number. He enlisted in ROTC so that if he was placed on active duty, he would be an officer. He served on active duty for three months and inactive duty until 1980, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of captain.

4. The 1972 Princeton yearbook notes his intention to someday "warm a seat on the Supreme Court."

5. He attended Yale University Law School, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal. He graduated in 1975, one year after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

6. While an appellate federal judge, Alito picked up the nickname "Strip-Search Sammy" from critics of his dissenting opinion in the 2004 case Doe v. Groody. He argued that police officers did not violate any constitutional rights when they strip-searched a mother and her 10-year-old daughter.

7. He is often called "Scalita" in reference to his similarity to Justice Antonin Scalia's conservative views and Italian roots.

8. He is married to Martha-Ann Bomgardner Alito, a former law librarian in the United States attorney's office. They have two children, Laura and Philip.

9. A longtime Philadelphia Phillies fan, he uses sports metaphors in speeches. As a child, he played second base and dreamed of becoming a baseball commissioner. As an adult, he coached his son's Essex County Little League team, and his wife once sent him to a fantasy Phillies baseball camp where he played second base alongside professional ballplayers.

10. A coffee shop near the Newark federal courthouse carries a blend named after him: "Judge Alito's Bold Justice Blend: a mix of Colombian, Java, and New Guinea with a bit of espresso."

Sources:
Current Biography Yearbook 2006
New York Times
Associated Press