Tufts Grads Voice Support For Supreme Court Nominee
Two Tufts University graduates who worked with Samuel A. Alito, Jr., believe he is the right candidate to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the United States Supreme Court.
Medford/Somerville, Mass. [01.20.06] After three days of hearings, the Senate is set to decide the fate of Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., later this month. While his conservative track record has some Democrats grumbling, two Tufts University graduates who have worked with Alito are confident that the federal appeals judge is the right man for the job.
“Sam Alito is uniformly qualified in all-important respects to serve as a justice on the United States Supreme Court,” Hon. Timothy K. Lewis, who served for seven years on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals alongside Alito, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12. “Having worked with him, I came to respect what I think are the most important qualities for anyone who puts on a robe.”
Those qualities, according to Lewis, who earned an undergraduate degree from Tufts in 1976, are intellectual honesty, respect and a strong commitment to principle. He said Alito possesses all three.
“No one worked harder at coming to what he thought was the right decision than Judge Alito,” said Lewis, a self-described “committed human rights and civil rights activist.”
While Lewis, who is openly pro-choice, admitted that he and Alito, a conservative, did not always see eye to eye, he said Alito always heard every side of an argument and took an intellectually honest and respectful approach to decision making.
“He did not come to conference or come to any decision -- any decision -- that he made during the time that I worked with him, based on what I perceived to be an ideological bent or a result-oriented demeanor or approach,” Lewis told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Keith Levenberg, who clerked for Alito in 2002 and 2003 in Newark, N.J., agrees with Lewis that his former boss has “fine judgment and a sense of fairness,” which make him an ideal candidate for the Supreme Court, he told the West Virginia Record.
“You want someone with capable intellect and someone with the right temperament,” Levenberg, who earned a degree in philosophy from Tufts in 1999, told the newspaper.
Levenberg and a group of Alito’s former clerks believe he fits the mold. They banded together to sign a letter in support of his nomination, he told the Record.
“All of us think he’ll make a fine justice,” Levenberg told the newspaper.
And so does Lewis.
“I have no hesitation in commending his commitment to principle,” he said. “I believe that Sam Alito will be the type of justice who will listen with an open mind and will not have any agenda-driven or result-oriented approach.”