Supreme Court

Not-So-Shocking News of the Day: Justice Alito Won't Attend Next State of the Union Address


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made headlines back in January when he mouthed some mild disapproval during President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address as Obama made false statements about the Court's landmark free speech ruling in Citizens United v. F.E.C. Speaking in New York last week, Alito made it clear he won't be sitting through another such presidential performance. As the Associated Press reports:

The justice said the annual speech to Congress has become very political and awkward for the justices, who he says are expected to sit "like the proverbial potted plant."

Of course, Alito did not remain impassive at the most recent State of the Union speech by President Barack Obama. He reacted to Obama's unusual rebuke of the court for its decision in a campaign finance case by shaking his head and mouthing the words "not true."…

The better course, Alito said, is to follow the example of more experienced justices like Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and the recently retired John Paul Stevens. None has attended in several years.

"So I doubt that I will be there in January," Alito said.

Read Reason's coverage of Citizens United and its fallout here. Relive the "not true" moment below:

NEXT: What You Can't Say on Campus: Greg Lukianoff on Free Expression in Higher Education

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  1. Alito should have leaped from his seat, pointed at Obama and shouted “You lie!”

    That would have made the whole thing so much more interesting.

  2. I’d have said “Bullshit.”

    1. Animal House style, with the cough and everything.

      1. Perfect.

        1. Now, if Obama will just have a parade…

          1. Rahming speed!

            1. That’s the Chicago way!

              And frankly, I would have much rather had Senator Blutarski over Sen. Franken.

              1. He would’ve ruled. Especially on foreign policy.

                And President Otter–awesome.

                1. Well, there’s a governor Otter. Don’t rule it out.

              2. Did you ever see the 25th Anniversary DVD of Animal House? It contains this great mochumentary showing where the members of the Delta House are 25 years later. In it, they have all of the actors now 25 years older talk about their lives since in character. Steven First is hysterical as Flounder talking about his “conflict resolution” practice that once included Mike Tyson as a patient.

                Anyway, since John Belushi is no longer with us, they can’t have an interview with an aging Blutarski. So they just show a picture of the Whitehouse (whose occupant at the time was Bush II) and have John Landes voicing over “we all know of course what happened to Bluto, unfortunately the President and First Lady were not available to be interviewed for this film.” Considering Bush’s known frat partier reputation, it was pretty damned funny.

                1. I’d like to see that.

          2. He is kind of the Dean Wormer to our Delta House, isn’t he?

            1. I always though of him as more of a Niedermayer.

              1. I agree, but he’s more in the Dean role than in the whatever Niedermayer was role.

                1. Hi, Eric Stratton, Rush chairman, damn glad to meet you.

                  1. Hi, that was Eric Stratton, Rush chairman, he was damn glad to meet you.

                    1. If we can’t have him, why not President Tim Matheson? Who, if the gods are kind, would be brought down in the Fawn Liebowitz scandal.

                    2. God Fawn’s roommate was fucking hot. That woman never got another part. But she should have.

                2. I dunno. Obama’s kind of in a YOU’RE ALL WORTHLESS AND WEAK! mode lately, at least as far as the voters go.

              2. Niedermayer at least had a hint of testosterone. Same goes for Dean Wormer.

                It is more like if Greg Marmolard, the Omega who is seen getting a handjob from Babs Janson only to have her quit and take off her latex glove saying something to the effect of “if you are not even going to try I am going to quit”.

                1. “Greg, honey, Is it supposed to be that soft?”

                2. GREGORY MARMALARD:

                  NIXON WHITE HOUSE AIDE
                  RAPED IN PRISON

                3. That’s not a shooting star. Probably a 707. Those baby’s really do move across the sky.

            2. I do like the “double secret probation” idea. I think I’ll start incorporating it into My policies. On ALL your asses.

      2. Principal: Rah!

        Smartass student: Raw! Eat it raw! Raw raw raw!

        Principal: That’s the spirit I like to hear at this school.

        Yes, kiddies, there was subversive humor before Animal House 😉

        1. Yeah but that would mean that everything that you know is wrong!

          … Hobbit

  3. I think he should show up…wearing a Pinnochio mask.

  4. Or, better yet, he should show up with a hooker. Like that chick Spitzer used to pay for.

    1. Pretty girl, that one.

    2. He should have just walked out. Now that would have been awesome.

      I’m waiting for the next State of the Union. I’m hoping our Wise Latina and the Newly elected Harvard lackey do something stupid like clap in support of something.

      1. elected = appointed

      2. A standing ovation with Arsenio Hall-era fist pumping.

          1. I don’t understand. Arsenio was a white man, wasn’t he?

            1. No, you’re thinking of Carsenio Hall.

    3. Speaking of Spitzer, I was recently confronted by the ugly fact that there a is a subculture of liberals who believe Spitzer was “set up”.

      1. What? You mean, forced to pay for and have sex with a prostitute?

        1. “Tricked into it” was more the gist. You know, Spitzer, the wide-eyed idealist, innocent babe in them thar woods that was politics was caught unawarez!!!

          1. Egad.

          2. Wow. That is some serious stupid.

          3. Spitzer Truthers! That is so fucking awesome as to be AWESOME!

            1. Yep, ran into it on the Seattle Times comment section. I can’t remember the discussion, but I made some segue about some mouth of Sauron admitting it was wrong around the same time Eliot Spitzer admitted that his troubles weren’t “private”– anyhoo, someone immediately jumped in and suggested that it was all a GOP plot, that the GOP had “set Spitzer up the bomb” and the shameful display of politics and some such nonsense.

              I was… stunned.

              1. He got sucked in, so to speak.

  5. Right side of that clip, the blond lady. Rarely do you actually see something said so stupid and a reaction to such a stupid comment being made cause someone’s jaw to drop. Hers did. No clue who she is, but as she look at the judges she looked amazed and stunned by what just happened.

    1. It’s Paula Poundstone.

      She used to be funnier.

  6. How stupid is it that they have to show up in their robes?

    1. Would you want to be mistaken for a Senator?

  7. Justice Alito Won’t Attend Next State of the Union Address

    Neither will Arlen Specter, Russ Feingold, Harry Reid…

    1. I really do hope Reid loses.

      1. Then its Schumer or Durbin for majority leader if the Dems keep control the senate.

        1. I don’t give a shit. Harry Reid is a god damned, yellow-bellied, sheep-fucking liar (and by sheep, I mean the electorate).

          1. And Angle would be entertaining as hell as a Senator. The woman carries a .44 magnum in her pickup as she campaigns.

            1. It’s looking pretty good. Intrade has Angle priced at 58.5! She raised $14 million in 3 months, putting those union socialist bastards to shame!

              Although, I don’t think they allow handguns on the Senate floor. Pussies!

              1. That pussy Schumer can try to disarm me!

          2. No argument here. Just noting that if Reid loses, there’s still plenty of “god damned, yellow-bellied, sheep-fucking liar[s]” left.

            1. God loves sheep fuckers. That is why he makes so many of them.

    2. At least one of the defeated senators will wind up back in Obama’s cabinet or advisor-czar milieu.

  8. No Supreme Court Justice should ever have to attend a function at which he is not allowed to interrupt the speaker, ask sarcastic and/or leading questions, and generally act like a big shot.

    More seriously, there is no good reason for the Supreme Court to attend the State of the Union address. They aren’t involved in the legislative process. And they are a separate and more or less equal branch of the federal government. So why should they take any crap from anyone? Still, I’d like to know when Scalia and Thomas stopped coming to the SOTU address. Before Obama’s election or after?

    1. Shouldn’t you be finishing up the edits to your novel “The Great Gatsby” rather than posting here, Vanneman?

    2. Let me google that for you.

      First relevant hit:

      Neither Ginsberg nor Scalia, the opposite ends of the spectrum, have attended in nearly a decade. THere are a thousands of criticisms that can be levelled at Alito. Deciding to forego attendance at the SOTU isn’t one of them. Here is a list of who has attended in recent years:

      2008: Roberts, Breyer, Alito, Kennedy
      2007: Roberts, Breyer, Alito, Kennedy
      2006: Roberts, Thomas, Breyer, Alito
      2005: Stevens, Breyer
      2004: Breyer
      2003: Breyer
      2002: Kennedy, Breyer
      2001: Breyer

      2000: None (due to illnesses and travel conflicts)
      1999: O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsberg, Breyer
      1998: Rehnquist, O’Connor, Souter, Thomas, Breyer
      1997: Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsberg, Breyer, White (retired)
      1996: Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsberg, Breyer
      1995: Rehnquist, O’Connor, Scalia, Ginsberg, Breyer, Blackmun (retired)

      1. I’d go, but I wouldn’t wear anything under my robe.

        1. and pink bunny slippers

          1. I was thinking Goofy slippers.

            1. Balck ears would match the robe. To conformist.

      2. So, what you’re saying is, Breyer is a total loser and needs to find something to do with all that free time?

        1. Breyer is a company man.

          1. Part of Big Ice Cream.

            1. Probably heavily invested in that pinko Ben & Jerry outfit.

      3. Actually, this is very interesting. It rather looks like the Clinton impeachment, followed by the Bush v. Gore furor, convinced most members of the Court that they should stay away.

      4. Wow, that’s an impressive list. The dichotomy from Clinton to Bush is pretty stark – must be the animus over the Gore v. Bush Florida decision.

        It also looks like Roberts was able to drag Alito along with him once he became El Jefe.

        1. on cell phone to Roberts:

          So, you goin’ to this lame company picnic and State of the Union thing tonight? I hear Nina Totenberg is bringin’ her lemon bars.

      5. I don’t get it. He’s just now doing what the rest of us have been doing for decades, i.e. not showing any interest in the State of the Union address.

    3. “They aren’t involved in the legislative process.”

      Nope. Not at all. (what a dipshit)

      1. Yeah, just like the president has nothing to do with writing laws. He just signs them or vetoes them!

    4. Behold, Watson, the total moron.

      1. Ahh yes, Holmes. I see what you mean.

        1. Notice, Watson, how he has no morals. No sense of decency. The kind of man who feels no remorse when stealing from his betters.

          1. Dreadful, Holmes. Dreadful.

  9. Has anyone seen Obama’s crap about “recognizing scientific achievement” or some such bullshit and having a national science fair that he was going on about today?

    Its nothing but a show so they can dump more money on public education and subsidies for green horseshit.

    1. Haven’t seen anything about it, but I think it’s par for the course. I find it amusing that the regime is pushing science and technology as much as they can. The funny thing about it is that when you increase the supply, demand will likely decrease. It happened to a lot of cut-rate computer programmers in the late 90s. There were just too many of the poor bastards, and when all this federal money pushing engineering/tech/science degrees up young adults asses (10 bucks that shit gets thrown at women and minorities first, you know, because whitey had his chance), we’ll see a nice deflation in wages for all engineers and what not.

      On another note, packing a country with scientists like a distended colon does not produce prosperity. The Soviet Union had the highest concentration of PhDs at the height of its power and look how that shit turned out. I think there is an illusion amongst the intelligentsia that if only we had enough “smart” people, the cracks in this country’s shoddy exterior would not be so gaping. Also, if we had an abundance of these smart fools, they’d have no choice but to accept lower (i.e. “fair”) wages. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t like learning about triple integrals, the Krebs cycle, quantaum physics, and/or Kalman filters if they don’t have a leg up on the majority of hapless history, psychology, and communications majors.

  10. The justices are not required by any law to attend the performance. They should reassert the independence of the judicial branch by staying away.

    1. Or they could go and live blog about every promise or statement that shows presidential ignorance of the law and of the Constitution.

      1. And put Damon W. Root out of a job? Just when he finally got one? That’s cold.

    2. They should assert the independence of the Judicial branch by feeling free to attend and making disparaging comments throughout.

      C-Span should film it from behind with them in shillouette.

      1. No, they just need two of them in the balcony, like Statler and Waldorf.

        1. All good ideas, but wouldn’t that undermine the dignity of the event?

          I keed!

      2. I like the idea of the court doing a sort of ‘Mystery Science Theater’ on ever State of The Union Address’. Just Obama or whoever the fuck on screen with the SCOC judges silhouettes in front.

    1. If the martians did attacked the State of the Union attendees, would the martians still be the bad guys?

  11. The State of the Union address itself is simply free airtime for the president and isn’t constitutionally mandated. He should simply send his statement to Congress in written form, as the early presidents did, and spare us all the agony.

    1. After suffering through [most of] the subject SOTUS (which was dreadful), I decided to fix it myself, and will watch no more forever

    2. Yet another thing to hate Wilson for–restarting the practice of giving the State of the Union address to Congress in person.

      1. Jesus cock suckin christ. I didn’t know that shit was his fault too.

    3. Blame Woodrow Wilson.

      He keeps popping up, doesn’t he?


    In other news EJ Dione brings the stupid in a big way today. (Yeah I know it is a dog bites man story).

    Rep. Paul Hodes, Ayotte’s Democratic opponent, could not attend the event, but Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, the incumbent Democrat whom Guinta hopes to defeat, minced no words in bravely defending tax increases on upper-bracket earners before a crowd that, judging from its questions, included a great many of them.

    “We all have a responsibility to do what we can to get out of this debt,” she said. And she stoutly defended her vote for health-care reform, asking the crowd if it really wanted to repeal the new law’s consumer protections or its tax credit to help small businesses buy insurance.

    You would never know that, away from the friendly Rotarian civic moment worthy of Tocqueville, Hodes was being pounded on the air by one of this year’s big outside conservative spenders, American Crossroads. “The guy just can’t tell the truth,” one ad declares, citing the state’s leading conservative newspaper. For her part, Shea-Porter has been hit by the pious-sounding Revere America group for her support of “Obamacare.” The ad warns ominously, and with no basis: “Your right to keep your own doctor may be taken away.”

    As they say, read the whole thing.

    1. “As it is, these Democrats and scores like them elsewhere face Republican opponents who can be calmly affable, knowing they have behind them oodles of secret cash and a far right that sees Nov. 2 as Armageddon”

      Maybe he sees the coming election as Armageddon. Is Angle one of the 4 horseman?

    2. I read this – it is truly, utterly, laughably pitiful. The comments on the realclearpolitics link for this were pretty choice, too.

      1. Hodes was being pounded on the air

        PS This can get ya in trouble in Canada, BTW….

    3. Well, he is right. Everyone has the right to join a union, and we know that union health plans won’t be gutted like everyone else’s.

  13. “We all have a responsibility to do what we can to get out of this debt,”

    Except of course, that “all” excludes the half of the population who pay virtually no federam income taxes. And of course cutting spending for any taxpayer handouts going to those folks.

    1. How can someone say that and simultaneously be proud of voting for the health care bill? The most optimistic estimates for increased revenues with the upper income tax increases are a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of the health care bill. This guy is prfoundly unserious.

  14. They either have no business there or they should be able to cheer or boo whatever parts of the speech they want. Basically saying they should remain stone-faced and silent is silly. What if a President said his opponents should be jailed, or that he was making it illegal for women to speak in public by executive order? Should they still be expected to be silent?

    When you’ve got leftist ideologues literally hanging over your shoulder cheering on the president as he ridicules your decision on national TV, and you can feel flecks of their spittle landing on your neck, then you’ve got an excise to react with a “not true.” Hell, you’ve got a right to react with a screamed, “FUCK YOU. We are a separate but equal branch of the government, you fucking amateur.” Of course, that would have led to Alito’s impeachment by the Pelosi House because he’s not showing the right amount of deference to Baal or something.

    1. They shouldn’t boo or disrupt the speech. I’m not a proponent of the heckler’s veto.

      But seriously, muttering to yourself, and allowing those looking directly at you to read your lips, is hardly disruptive. And a speaker ripping someone in the audience, who has no chance to respond due to the format, is pretty Bush league.

      1. Neither is quietly and politely getting up and walking out. I don’t agree with heckling, although it would be funny as hell to see Obama face the kind of heckling a British PM does.

        1. Hannan would tear him a new asshole.

          Which would be impressive, because Obama’s about 92% asshole as it stands.

      2. And a speaker ripping someone in the audience, who has no chance to respond due to the format, is pretty Bush league Obamanesque .


    2. Baal? They clearly believe he’s Horus…

    3. It’s rich to think of Alito as some heroic opponent of executive deference dude…

  15. I think it shows Alito’s partisan colors that he could not restrain himself from muttering “not true.” Seriously, a SCOTUS justice can’t imagine that pols are going to attack the court and even distort the court’s holdings in a negative political light? He was so aghast he needed to defend, what, his honor? The honor of the SCOTUS? WTF? As a long-time GOP activist I think he was just upset that Obama was saying something that, had it been used correctly, would have made the right look bad…

    1. “Seriously, a SCOTUS justice can’t imagine that pols are going to attack the court and even distort the court’s holdings in a negative political light?”

      Well, some people assumed that the president would exhibit a little class. Given that Emperor Obammodus can’t take responsibility for anything he’s done (well, he did inherit his policies from Bush), can’t go overseas without either offending people there or people here, and can’t even refrain from treating his own supporters like they’re unruly children, that was unrealistic.

    2. “Had it been used correctly”??

      WTF are you saying?

      Obama made a statement that was demonstrably factually incorrect. In short he uttered a blatant falsehood. He flatly distorted a SCOTUS ruling by declaring it had a dire effect that it in fact did not have.

      So you’re upset because Obama didn’t use his lie “correctly”?

    3. My understanding is that it is not normal for a President to use the State of the Union to directly attack a Supreme Court decision. That dereliction of courtesy on the part of Obama does not even take into account the ham fisted and incorrect way he attcked the decision. The hissy fit the Left has demonstrated about Alito’s lack of deference to their Leader is unbecoming. It’s what you get by breaking a gentleman’s agreement, all it proves is that Obama is no gentleman and that the Left cannot take counter criticism.

    4. I’m definitely seeing some partisan colors showing….not Alito’s though.

      Good that you recognize that Obama was distorting the facts, though. Maybe you should save some criticism for him on this subject, since he’s the one who had a microphone in front of his piehole and dozens of cameras tracking his every facial movement.

  16. I saw on the news that Alito is being banned from this years stae of the union address because last year he screamed out “You lie!” during the Presidents speech. Good. That Alito is nothing but trailer park trash. He single handedly undermines the integrity of the supreme court by appearing so biased against the President. Wonder why that a-hole Alito hates America so much. The guys an Inbred animal. Why do? we even? have a supreme court any more? We should ignore them as hopelessly biased.

    [no joke]

    1. Can we revoke that guy’s license to breathe?

  17. Obama is such an inept, bungling pol. If I were him when Citizens United came out I would have immediately and repeatedly went with the “this decision may open the door for foriegn corporations to give unlimited amounts to subvert our national interests.” Then the Dems should have brought to a vote a bill that did one single thing: restricted or banned campaign funds from any majority owned corporation. Make the GOP vote on it.

    Instead he made a little noise, dropped it, came up with another overly stupid “comprehensive” bill riddled with add-ons and special interest favors, and then when his party is on the chopping block, then he brings up this issue repeatedly.

    Way to go doofus.

    1. You’re right… On so many issues Dems and Obama have refused to go after the GOP in plain, simple English with accusations the truth of which needs not even be stretched all that much (certainly not as much as the GOP does when they’re doing it). It’s like they’re afraid of the GOP. Makes you want to smack them over the heads and ask them exactly what they think the GOP is holding back. But they might call us terrorists and socialists! Uh huh.

      1. Yeah! Goddamn third branch of government keeping us from getting our agenda passed.

        No foreign contributions, but I’ll have everyone in the West Bank send their money via a prepaid Visa and I’ll turn off the filter that prevents foreign contributions. Yeah!

        And evul corporashuns don’t employ people. They actually fuel their pollution-causing machinery with blood from minority babies and seniors. And they don’t make anything, they just rape the earth and steal money from people in the night. Yeah!

        And Team Red wants to take every firstborn child and sacrifice them so God will favor insurance companies and big oil. And, and , and they want to make all of us Christians and make us pay their God money for Isreal. And, um, um…oh, they want to teach racism in school and go back to Jim Crow. Yeah!

        I swear, you two are a pair of idiots. Oh, and Tony, still looking for that example of one tangible positive outcome from this admin.

        1. This is the first I’ve heard of the “West Bank Money connection” meme. Is this a new talking point making the conservative rounds?

          1. that’s right. it was gaza. good catch mng.

          2. Shit, it was Gaza. My bad. Thanks a bunch you nitwit.

            1. That nitwit remark was directed at mng, not jimi.

      2. “Go after” the GOP?

        I thought Our Dear Leader promised, in all his lofty rhetoric, to be post-partisan and reach across the aisle?

        Instead he’s offered a good pounding in the ass to America and far from reaching across the aisle, he hasn’t even had the courtesy to reach around while he’s doing it.

        1. I thought Our Dear Leader promised, in all his lofty rhetoric, to be post-partisan and reach across the aisle?

          Yeah that didn’t work out so well. He needs to tell the truth instead of pretending Republicans are serious about anything.

          Instead he’s offered a good pounding in the ass to America and far from reaching across the aisle, he hasn’t even had the courtesy to reach around while he’s doing it.

          Is this was counts as humor among you people?

          1. To Tony @ 9:53.
            “Yeah that didn’t work out so well. He needs to tell the truth instead of pretending Republicans are serious about anything.”
            Try again.

          2. “you people”

            Stay classy, Tony.

      3. From a purely political standpoint, this could have been teh Dubai-ports of this year…As usual it was poorly played by the Dems.

        1. Oh for the days when the Democrats effectively used racism and xenophobia agianst their opponents. Every day you set the bar lower MNG.

          1. Shorter John: “hey, you guys can’t do that, that’s from OUR playbook!”

            1. I think the Democrats made that a pretty key part of the playbook for a while in the past two centuries.

            2. Right. Democrats don’t hate all foreigners who take jobs that used to be done by Americans. Just the ones who stay in their own countries rather than coming here and voting Democrat.

          2. My God, if I see another anti-Toomey ad with a fucking Chinese flag and a gong blaring in the background, saying he should run for senate in China since he worked for a Hong Kong firm back in the 90s, I’m gonna shove a fortune cookie down some poor Dem operative’s throat.

    2. Obama is such an inept, bungling pol.

      Translation: he still believes in (some of) his rhetoric.

      When he becomes a truly shrewd politician, we know he no longer believes in anything he’s doing or saying.

    3. “Instead he made a little noise, dropped it, came up with another overly stupid “comprehensive” bill riddled with add-ons and special interest favors, and then when his party is on the chopping block, then he brings up this issue repeatedly.”

      You do understand that the special interest favaors in the bill was part of the point of the exercise? You don’t actually think that the Dems bitching about campaign finance has anything to do with getting corruption oout of the government? You are not that naive?

    4. You cannot possibly be that retarded.

    5. I just didn’t want to ruin it for our candidates. We need those under-the-table donations Republicans get, too.

  18. Then the Dems should have brought to a vote a bill that did one single thing: restricted or banned campaign funds from any majority owned corporation.

    Also unconstitutional, of course, under Citizens United. But when should we let a little thing like that stand in the way of a cheap political shot?

    1. Nice to know you agree with Obama and against Alito on this one RC!

        1. It was Obama’s claim that CU barred retrictions on foriegn money that triggered Alito’s “not true.”

    2. I think MNG meant “foreign-majority owned”. And like the irreflective hack that he is, he doesn’t even notice that he fucked up the statement, but lashes out at you instead.

  19. When Obama said, ‘they treat him like a dog’ it is pretty obvious what he really meant by that but could not say it directly.

    1. They made him their bitch?

      1. The euphemism used to be ‘Canadian.’

  20. Personally I know a guy is gay when we meet and i feel the need to check my fly~hjdfjt56

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