Samuel Alito: A Personal Look

Samuel Alito: A Personal Look


Eric Muller is a law professor at UNC Law School, and the author of the Is That Legal blog.

He worked with the man everybody is speculating will be the next SCOTUS nominee, and he has these thoughts to share with us.

Sam Alito was the U.S. Attorney who hired me into the Appeals Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey back in 1989. He was still there as U.S. Attorney when I started at the office in early 1990, but left a few months later to join the Third Circuit.

I had nowhere near the exposure to Alito that I had to his replacement, Michael Chertoff, but I had enough time to form an impression.

He is cerebral. He is very, very smart. In small-ish interpersonal settings he comes off as a bit shy and a touch awkward. (I say that this is so only in small-ish settings because I once saw him deliver a speech, at his farewell dinner, actually, and in that setting, speaking to a big crowd, he was remarkably at ease and exceedingly funny.) He seems younger than his years; there is a boyishness to him. Because his nature is reserved, I found him tough to read for politics. I knew, of course, that his conservative pedigree was impressive, but it was not something he wore on his sleeve.

Go over to Eric’s blog and read about the funny going away present they gave Alito. I got a kick out of it.

  • lgude

    I found my way to Alito’s blog via
    He is a funny guy but it looks like he really doesn’t appreciate that he is speaking very publically on his blog and I left a comment to that effect.

    Luttig has a blog too which is breathtakingly sophomoric and, er, crude.


    The President of the United States just proved beyond a shadow of an unreasonable doubt that he’s the most moronic organism in the history of life on earth.

    That’s Luttig speaking – not me. Oy Vey!

  • Justin Gardner

    Surely you jest?

    Oh boy, I hope you are…

  • Samuel Alito

    Oh it’s true.

    I’ve been told to tone down the sophomoric side, so now I’m trying very hard to post in a sophisticated, straightforward manner for all of my friends.

    Thank you for your comment on the site and your mention here.