Many things can be said about Samuel Alito. But according to AP reporter David B. Caruso, one thing is certain: There isn't very much mystery about him.
"He's someone who people can reasonably look at his opinions and predict where he's going to stand on various issues," says New York-based Caruso, who followed many of Alito's rulings when he worked at the AP's Philadelphia bureau. "People who do vote for him or vote against him will know what they're getting into."
Unlike with Harriet Miers, President Bush's first choice to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, there's ample information offering some sense of what Alito is all about. As a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, Alito has expressed legal opinions on many of the most controversial subjects of the day -- from the separation of church and state to free speech and abortion.
So far, abortion has emerged as his most contentious topic.
In 1991, Alito voted to uphold a Pennsylvania law that included a provision requiring women seeking abortions to notify their spouses. That case went to the Supreme Court, where justices used it to reaffirm Roe v. Wade.
"He said it was reasonable for lawmakers to believe that if a woman had a conversation with her husband first, she might change her mind," Caruso says.