Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, September 21, 2006


Page 4


Scalia to Present Alito Award at NIAF Awards Dinner


By JIM RIGGIO, Staff Writer


The National Italian American Foundation will honor Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Oct. 21 at its annual gala awards dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C., the group said.

Alito will be presented with the NIAF Special Achievement Award for Public Service by fellow Italian American Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“We’re looking forward to have them at our dinner,’‘ NIAF Vice-Chairman Joe Cerrell said. “We’re very proud to have two Italian-Americans on the Supreme Court.”

Although they only recently began working together, Cerrell said Scalia and Alito are hardly new faces to one another.

“They’ve known each other for many years through the federal judicial process,’‘ Cerrell said. “I talked to Scalia about Alito and he assured me he’d serve with honor.’‘

Among the other jurists scheduled to attend include Francis Allegra, who sits on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and Maryland Court of Appeals Judge Lynn Battaglia, NIAF said in a release.

Alito was nominated to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush on Oct. 31, 2005. A member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since 1990, Alito replaced the retiring Sandra Day O’Connor. Following a 58-42 Senate confirmation vote, he took office Jan. 31 this year.

As the nation’s 110th justice, Alito is one of five Roman Catholics that current sit on the court.

Cerrell, who attended St. Francis Xavier High School in New York with Scalia, said NIAF stresses that it is non-partisan. He noted that has had every sitting president has attended one of NIAF’s events in the last 31 years with the exception of George W. Bush.

President George H.W. Bush is scheduled to attend the event, along with wife, Barbara. President Bill Clinton has attended the NIAF awards gala seven of the nine times he has been invited, Cerrell said.


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