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Samuel Alito

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2007 official portrait.
It's the
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To punish
and protect
At present, no one - including social scientists, philosophers, and historians - can predict with any certainty what the long-term ramifications of widespread acceptance of same-sex marriage will be.
—Alito, imagining the gay onslaught in his head.[1]

Samuel Alito (1950–) is a conservative Supreme Court Justice appointed by former President George W. Bush to replace Sandra Day O'Connor after she retired in 2005. His appointment pushed the Court well to the right. His nomination was quite controversial, and many liberals believed he would not be an impartial Justice; they were right.

His wife seemed to be crying during his confirmation while he was being questioned by Democratic Senators; a cheap way to try to milk sympathy for him. He is one of six Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court as of September 2012, and the second Italian American on the Court. His father was an Italian immigrant.

Despite deserving a lot of criticism, there are also some occasions in which Alito should be praised. For example, he was the sole member of the Supreme Court to dissent in Snyder v. PhelpsWikipedia, where he ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church had entrapped the participants of a funeral despite their speech, in its self, not being unconstitutional. This opinion earned the praise of John Paul StevensWikipedia, who had then only recently retired from the Supreme Court. He was also the sole dissenter in United States v. StevensWikipedia, ruling that the state has an obligation to protect animals, like children, since they are vulnerable and, therefore, images of animal abuse (the law in question was intended to ban crush filmsWikipedia, and Congress was later able to get a variant that passed constitutional muster through) do not constitute speech.