a decorabilia exclusive
I've been reading through Alito's 4000 cases, the work of a fifteen-year term on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Out of that vast output, I've come up with the three that truly define his character as a human and his philosophy as a jurist.
Frederick v. Tappan (2001)
Tappan had created genetically-modified banana trees, which Frederick claimed were transferring virulent DNA to his neighboring orchard. The orchards happened to lie across state lines, so the relevant FDA regulations, which had been written a century previous, were challenged on constitutional grounds. In a footnote to the majority opinion, Alito wrote, "I don't like your peaches. They are full of stones. I like bananas because they have no bones. Don't give me tomatoes. Can't stand ice cream cones. I like bananas because they have no bones."
Bowie v. Ice (1990)
In Alito's first case in his 3rd Circuit career, the landmark copyright dispute in which David Bowie accused then-megastar Vanilla Ice of stealing the music to "Under Pressure" for the hit "Ice Ice Baby," Alito dissented. Siding with Ice, Alito thundered, "This lyrical mastery represents a new paradigm in musical expression. Though the musical accompaniment is markedly similar, the freshest words, the zigging and zagging bass line, the hippity-hop beat put this song in a class by itself."
Pineville v. Hanbury Baptist (1996)
The church in question put up a nativity scene that encroached on city property. Alito's decision, which stood when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, was written entirely in the following limerick.
The warrants for taking down Jesus
Were entirely torn into slices.
Since the plaintiffs are wrong
And the precedent's strong,
This court will rule stare decisis.