Justice Alito addresses court decisions during Shea's appearance

Oct 21, 2016

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito spent three days visiting this area. His stay concluded on the stage of Shea's Performing Arts Center where he was questioned by two local lawyers.


Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito appeared at a special event Thursday night at Shea's.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The event was sponsored by law firm Hodgson Russ. The firm's Chairman, Daniel Oliverio, was joined by interim University at Buffalo Law School Dean Jim Gardner during an hour in which they questioned Alito about the law, his family background and some of his decisions.

"It's good for the community. To get a United States Supreme Court Justice to come to Buffalo says something about our town," Oliverio said. 

"The other thing is that it's good for the law students and the legal community to see a Supreme Court Justice up close."

About 700 people attended the event.

"It's been a great opportunity for our students," Gardner said.  "It's Very unusual to encounter a Supreme Court Justice who is willing to sit down and talk about the workings of the court and I think it's true that the fact that he's a very humble and unpretentious individual is a very good lesson in wearing power well."

Alito talked about American industry of a century ago which provided for his immigrant grandparents, why he became a government lawyer and judge rather than going into potentially more lucrative private practice.

He also discussed reconciling the originalism of the Constitution with the high-tech world which surrounds us.