“Stony-faced” Alito on the WBC, 1st Amendment, and Obama’s jab

We enjoyed this article giving us a glimpse at Chief Justice Samuel Alito’s remarks to law students at Pepperdine University.  Talking points from the speech included – 1) Stay in school kids!

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Justice Alito looking less than “stony.”

Despite recent trends showing significantly low numbers of law school applicants not seen since the 1970s, Alito enthusiastically encouraged people to attend.  “Our country needs lawyers.  The Constitution and the law is one of the things that holds us together,” Alito told the audience.  2)  Reflecting on one of his most challenging cases, Alito recalled his lone dissent in the 2011 1st Amendment free speech case involving the Westboro Baptist Church.

 The WBC was sued by the father of a fallen soldier when they showed up at his son’s funeral with signs reading “Thank God for dead soldiers!”  Alito remarked that such offensive speech was not protected under the Constitution.  “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.”  3)  He’s still mad at Obama for his controversial statement about the Court in the President’s 2010 State of the Union address.  Recall Alito did not care for Obama’s jab at the SCOTUS during his address for their Citizens’ United decision.  Still. Mad. Didn’t attend the most recent SOTU either.

Read more on his remarks from the Malibu Times article here.