Academic studies of dissenting opinions generally predict that judges appointed by Republican presidents will dissent more often in cases in which both of the other judges on three-judge panels were appointed by Democratic presidents.And this:
But Judge Alito does not follow that pattern: he dissented in 4 cases in which both of the other judges were appointed by Democrats and in 26 in which they were both appointed by Republicans.
The Supreme Court rejected the position set out by Judge Alito in a dissent in an abortion case. But in at least three other cases, it adopted the position advanced in his dissent.Liptak and Glater don't manage to pull out any inflammatory dissents, and they seem most drawn to the conclusion that his brand of conservatism is not the pursuit of politically conservative outcomes but simply judicial restraint:
Frank B. Cross, a law professor at the University of Texas who has compiled a database tracking how the Supreme Court reviews appellate decisions, said: "This is the highest of anyone in the database. It shows that when his court took an important and controversial case and got it wrong, from the perspective of the Supreme Court, he identified that and dissented. Indeed, his dissent may have been part of what got the Supreme Court's attention."
One theme that runs through Judge Alito's dissents is deference to the views of the people and the agencies closest to the facts and thus, in his view, best situated to make decisions.There are, we need to recognize, varieties of judicial conservatism. If you want to characterize a judge as a conservative, please tell me what kind of conservative you mean.