Where Does Justice Samuel Alito Stand?
Russ Feingold asked Samuel Alito during the confirmation hearings if the President of the United States is allowed to break the law.
SEN. FEINGOLD: But it is possible under your construct that an inherent constitutional power of the president could, under some analysis or in some case, override what people believe to be a constitutional criminal statute. Is that correct?
JUDGE ALITO: Well, I don't want to—I don't—I want to be very precise on this. What I have said—and I don't think I can go further than to say this—is that that situation seems to be exactly what is to fall exactly within that category that Justice Jackson outlined, where the president is claiming the authority to do something, and the thing that he is claiming the authority to do is explicitly—has been explicitly disapproved by Congress. So his own taxonomy contemplates the possibility that—he says that there—this—there is this category, and cases can fall in this category, and he seems to contemplate the possibility that that might be justified.
But I'm not—I don't want to even say that there could be such a case. I don't know. I would have to be presented with the facts of the particular case and consider it in a way I would consider any legal question. I don't think I can go beyond that.
This should of been a slam-duck answer for Alito. There is nothing in the Constitution stating the President's power can override the law.