State of the Union: Reading Justice Alito’s Lips

Jan 27, 2010 11:18pm

ABC’s Ariane de Vogue reports: During tonight’s State of the Union speech, cameras caught Justice Samuel Alito seemingly shaking his head when the President made a pointed attack on the recent campaign finance decision.

Lip readers on the web are already weighing in — claiming that Alito said "that's not true" when Obama suggested the ruling will open the floodgates to corporate spending.

Obama said, "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections.”

Some of the Supreme Court Justices traditionally attend the State of the Union, but do not applaud or show any expression of agreement or disagreement in an effort to show neutrality on issues that could come before the court.

Likewise tonight, ABC’s Martha Raddatz notes the justices are not the only ones who resist any urge to clap in order to maintain the appearance of neutrality. Viewers may have noted tonight that the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not clapping either, in response to any remark in the State of the Union they consider to be policy issues.

Tonight, for instance, they did not clap when the president talked about repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, saying, “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”
 
The only clapping that the chiefs did tonight was for First Lady Michelle Obama and supporting the troops when they come home. However, Defense Secretary Gates, who is a civilian and a political appointee unlike the joint chiefs,, was seen clapping during the president’s remarks about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal.
 

 

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