Joe’s Reading Log

February 1, 2006

Clapping Supremely

Filed under: National Politics — Joe Martin @ 7:05 pm

Four justices attended the State of the Union address last night: Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, and Breyer. It is an interesting thing to be a Supreme Court justice, the world’s most non-political job, at a State of the Union, one of the world’s most political events. Dana Milbank reports on when the Justices chose to Clap On or Clap Off:

At times, Alito followed the lead of the other three justices who
sat with him in the front row. When Bush said “We love our freedom, and
we will fight to keep it,” Thomas looked at Roberts, who looked at
Breyer, who gave an approving shrug; all four gentlemen stood and gave
unanimous applause.

At other times, Alito showed independence
from his senior colleagues. When Bush delivered the stock line “The
state of our union is strong,” Alito dissented while the other three
robed justices in the front row applauded. When Bush declared that
“liberty is the right and hope of all humanity,” Alito was the only
member of the judicial quartet to provide his concurring applause.

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