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Alito chooses former Ashcroft aide as law clerk

[JURIST] New US Supreme Court [official website] Justice Samuel Alito [JURIST news archive] has chosen Adam G. Ciongoli, a former counselor to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft [official profile] as one of his five law clerks. Ciongoli, 37, who currently serves as a senior vice president at Time Warner [corporate website], clerked for Alito in 1995-1996 while Alito was a judge on US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website].

Since the vast majority of legal clerks are usually recent law school graduates, Ciongoli's hire is an unusual choice by Alito. There are concerns that Ciongoli may face issues at the Court that he had previously worked on as Ashcroft's aide, such as the detention and trial of terrorism suspects. According to a 2002 Federal Judicial Center manual, Maintaining the Public Trust: Ethics for Federal Judicial Law Clerks [PDF text], law clerks should not participate in cases which they have worked on "in a previous legal job," or about which they have personal knowledge of disputed facts. The Washington Post has more.

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