As I noted in the SOTU thread, when President Obama criticized the Citizens United Decision, Justice Alito was obviously shaking his head, and appeared to be saying something like “no, that’s not right.”
Very, very bad form. The Supreme Court Justices are supposed to sit there, never clap, never stand, and betray no hint of emotion either way during the speech. That’s what Kennedy, who wrote the decision, did. That’s what Roberts, who agreed with it, did as well. They are not supposed to piss and moan if they come in for some criticism. But that’s what Alito did.
CNN has already commented that this was one of the big moments of the speech. It was less outwardly dramatic than Joe Wilson’s “you lie” moment, but more extraordinary because it came from a Supreme Court Justice instead of some lame congressman that nobody outside his district had ever heard of before.
There’s no requirement that Justices attend the State of the Union — Stevens, Scalia, and Thomas were absent. Alito should have stayed home and yelled at his TV. Instead, he’s going to be on tomorrow’s front pages for embarrassing himself, and for dishonoring the institution he serves. Heckuva job, Sammy.
UPDATE: Rachel Maddow led her SOTU segment with Alito’s “Joe Wilson moment.” AP’s got an article up. Politico calls it Alito’s “You Lie moment.” Hilarious that Sam Alito is now eternally linked with Joe Wilson. :D