Bush nominates Alito to U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, October 31, 2005

Samuel Alito accepting his nomination

U.S. President George W. Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito of New Jersey as Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court in a formal announcement at 8 a.m EST (13:00 UTC) this morning.

Bush called Alito one "of the most accomplished and respected judges in America" and stressed that he has "more prior judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years."

Alito is currently a judge at the 3rd Circuit Appeals Court in Philadelphia. He is viewed as a staunch conservative and has been compared to current Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.

The nominee, when and if confirmed, would succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor who announced her retirement in July. This latest nomination process was made necessary when Harriet Miers withdrew herself from consideration after being met with harsh criticism among Democrat and Republican lines alike.

The debate over the conservative candidate is expected to be largely partisan, unlike the Harriet Miers nomination that was widely criticized by both legislative parties for her lack of judicial experience.

Alito, 55, has served on his circuit court since 1990 and was originally nominated by President George Herbert Walker Bush.