Apparently I’m late on this, but Adam Liptak at the New York Times reports that Justice Alito has opted out of the Cert. Pool. The Cert. Pool is a system in which Justices pool together their clerks to review cert petitions more efficiently. One clerk will review petitions and draft a memo that is circulated to all of the participating Justices. For years, eight of the nine Justices had participated with only Justice Stevens reviewing all petitions within his chamber.

Justice Alito’s decision to remove himself from the pool is surprising. As the Junior Justice, it shows that he is coming into his own on the Court and possibly that he may be hoping to get a more customized view of the cases before him. His clerks are more likely to know what he wants to see and he can choose his votes accordingly.

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