Judging Alito

Church-state entanglements
The First Amendment protects religious freedom in two ways: by prohibiting the government from interfering with citizens’ religious exercise and by barring the state from promoting faith. Judging from his record, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito seems apt to uphold the first safeguard but inclined to erode the second.

In a 1985 application to be deputy assistant to the attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, Alito noted that he had “developed a deep interest in constitutional law, motivated in large part by disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particularly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause, and reapportionment.” He added that it had been “an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan’s administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly.”


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