Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Alito on Constitutional Comparativism

As I mentioned previously, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's senior thesis on the Italian Constitutional Court, written during his senior year at Princeton, has been missing from the Princeton archives. Today, the Daily Princetonian reports that Alito's thesis adviser has sent a copy of it to the university library and the Daily Princetonian has a brief summary here. At the very least, it shows that Alito has an above average familiarity with foreign legal systems, in particular the relatively new Italian experiment with judicial review of constitutional issues.

It may be reading a bit much into this, but I actually think his early interest will prevent him from being overawed by fairly aggressive modern claims about the necessity of incorporating international and foreign law into U.S. constitutional law. He certainly won't be hostile, but I think his early experience with constitutional comparativism will also give him a sense of its limitations.

In any case, what I really want to know: where is Alito's "supervised analytic writing" from his time at Yale Law School? From what I know of my alma mater, there is pretty much zero chance that a Yale Law professor has kept a copy of his thesis for 30 years. Will the Senate issue a subpoena?