Which Side Was He On?

During his 15 years as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, Samuel A. Alito Jr. helped to decide 221 cases on which the court's opinion was divided. To shed light on Alito's views, The Washington Post reviewed these non-unanimous cases, divided them into categories and compared them with a sample of other federal appellate judges around the country. The figures below show which side he voted for in the different kinds of cases, how often he voted with the court majority and how his views stack up against judges nationally.

Related Story: "Alito, In and Out of the Mainstream" (Jan. 1, 2006) | Database: Analyzing Alito's Votes | Methodology: About the Analysis

* One "en banc" case in which the government wanted to ease regulations accounted for 10 of the 49 votes in this national sample. Another 11 were split votes.
** By party of appointing president, cases with dissents only. National figures do not add to 100 percent because split votes are excluded.
*** National sample does not conform to coding of Alito's votes.
SOURCE: For Alito, the data includes all published cases heard by Alito from 1991 to 2005 in which at least one judge dissented. Excludes requests for rehearings that were not granted. The comparison is made against the national Appeals Court Database from 1990 to 1996, also limited to divided cases.

Dissents and Difference to Lower Courts

SOURCE: Published cases heard by Alito and the national Appeals Court Database

GRAPHICS: Sarah Cohen, Amy Goldstein And Cristina Rivero - The Washington Post | Brian Cordyack - washingtonpost.com

© 2005 The Washington Post Company