We know what Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. has been known not to hide his feelings. But does he mock his colleagues on the bench?
That is the assessment of the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who wrote that the justice let his body language do the talking during the court’s recent opinion announcements.
When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was reading from a dissent, Alito “shook his head from side to side in disagreement, rolled his eyes and looked at the ceiling,” Milbank wrote. During an opinion announcement from Justice Elena Kagan a few days earlier, Alito “glowered” and the newest justice made a joke. And when Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor made a quip during one of her opinions, “Alito rolled his eyes and shook his head,” according to the writer.
Alito sometimes saves expresses his disapproval in the written word as well. The National Law Journal’s Tony Mauro points out that Alito was not very keen on an analogy Kagan made involving the game Clue in an opinion, and he wrote so. And he even critiqued the oral argument answers of then Justice Department attorney, and now D.C. Circuit Judge, Sri Srinivasan in an opinion handed down Monday, as Josh Blackman noted on his blog.