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Federal judges to testify for Alito

[JURIST] Seven present or former members of the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals will testify on behalf of colleague and now US Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] at his confirmation hearings beginning Monday according to an announcement Friday by Republicans leading the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website]. Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) said the committee would hear from Edward Becker [official profile], Chief Judge Anthony Scirica [official profile], Maryanne Trump Barry [official profile], Ruggero Aldisert [official profile], and Leonard Garth [official profile], and also from two retired members of the court, John Gibbons [firm profile] and Timothy Lewis [firm profile]. Judicial testimony at a confirmation hearing is rare but, according to Specter, has been presented in the past. Democrats Thursday released a list of their own witnesses, including a constitutional law expert, a veteran civil rights lawyer and Kate Michelman, a former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion-rights group. They will also question John Flynn, a representative in a 2002 case involving mutual fund companyVanguard [official website]. Judge Alito partially handled the case, although he vowed to recuse himself from cases involving the company during this 1990 confirmation hearings for his Third Circuit seat because it manages his investments. Alito voluntarily removed himself from the case after his potential conflict of interest was raised, but claimed he was neither ethically or legally required to do so. Reuters has more.

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