Alito Will Skip Next State of the Union

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Posted: Oct 19, 2010 9:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When Supreme Court justices enter the House of Representatives in their black robes for the president's next State of the Union address, Samuel Alito does not plan to be among them.

The justice said the annual speech to Congress has become very political and awkward for the justices, who he says are expected to sit "like the proverbial potted plant."

Of course, Alito did not remain impassive at the most recent State of the Union speech by President Barack Obama. He reacted to Obama's unusual rebuke of the court for its decision in a campaign finance case by shaking his head and mouthing the words "not true."

The 60-year-old justice, an appointee of President George W. Bush, acknowledged with a smile that his colleagues "who are more disciplined refrain from manifesting any emotion or opinion whatsoever."