The Catholic University of America

April 24, 2008

United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito to Speak at Columbus School of Law Commencement

Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito will address more than 280 graduates at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law's 119th commencement ceremony, to be held on Friday, May 23, 2008.

The most recently appointed member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Alito was nominated by President George W. Bush to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Alito was unanimously rated "well qualified" to fill the associate justice post by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary. He was confirmed by the Senate and assumed office on Jan. 31, 2006. Justice Alito is the 110th justice and the fifth Catholic to serve on the Supreme Court.

"Justice Alito accepted my invitation with great enthusiasm," said the Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America. "Anytime a Supreme Court Justice addresses a law school graduating class is a great honor for the class, the school and the university. We all look forward to an inspiring message."

"It is a tremendous honor for our law school community to have Justice Alito as our commencement speaker. His unique insight on the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities that await our graduates as they matriculate into the legal profession will be the perfect capstone to their law school careers," said Veryl V. Miles, dean of the Columbus School of Law.

Justice Alito is 1972 graduate of Princeton University and he received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1975, where he served as the editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon his graduation from Yale, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Leonard A. Garth of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

From 1977 to 1980, Justice Alito served as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey in the appellate division, where he argued cases before the Third Circuit, to which he was later appointed. From 1981 to 1985, he served as assistant to the Solicitor General. In that capacity, he argued 12 cases on behalf of the federal government in the U.S. Supreme Court and argued at least two dozen others before the federal courts of appeals.

From 1985 to 1987, Justice Alito served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, where he provided constitutional advice for the Executive Branch. From 1987 to 1989, Justice Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey where he was best known for prosecuting white collar and environmental crimes, drug trafficking, organized crime, and violations of civil rights. Justice Alito was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush nominated Alito to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and he was unanimously confirmed by voice vote by the U.S. Senate.

Justice Alito has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions.

Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann, are the parents of two college age children: Philip and Laura.

The Columbus School of Law will confer more than 280 law degrees during its 119th Annual Commencement Ceremony to be held at 2 p.m., Friday, May 23, inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E.

MEDIA: For more information, contact Tom Haederle in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.