Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Updating sources on Alito

At Thunder in the House

More on Alito on the web.
  • Alito caught in 'conflicts of interest'
    Alito, who has been nominated by President Bush to the Supreme Court, owned more than $390,000 in shares of Vanguard Group mutual funds when he ruled in favor of the company as a federal appeals court judge in 2002. Alito also ruled in 1996 on a case involving Smith Barney, another firm handling his investments.

  • Alito holds little sympathy for workers in discrimination cases
  • In 1996, an overwhelming majority of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals awarded a significant victory to Barbara Sheridan, a worker at the posh Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Del., who said she had been sexually harassed by a supervisor, denied a promotion because she was a woman, and eventually fired for protesting the alleged discrimination.

    A jury concluded that she was not entitled to the promotion but that her complaints had resulted in a hostile work environment, and awarded her approximately $30,000 in back pay. But the trial judge toppled the verdict, saying the evidence was inadequate to prove that gender was a critical factor in what had happened to Sheridan.

    The appeals court heard the case twice, and both times ruled for Sheridan. In its final ruling, by a 10-1 vote, the 3rd Circuit ruled that a plaintiff did not have to show "direct" evidence of discrimination if a jury rejected an employer's explanation of its actions as a "pretext."

    Alito was the lone dissenter. He contended that the majority had made it too difficult for an employer to win.

    The majority — eight of them Republican appointees — cited a Supreme Court decision that emphasized that "there will seldom be 'eyewitness' testimony as to the employer's mental processes." Consequently, cases of this type usually turn on circumstances and inferences, and a jury must be permitted to weigh the evidence and assess the company's intent, the majority concluded.

  • Alito Is Called 'Sensitive' to Executive Power

  • Right to Wife

  • Hearing Date for Alito Leaves Bush Disappointed

  • Bush tries to sell Americans on Alito

  • The Life of the Party? Only in the 'Grand Old' Sense.


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