• Alito, Sotomayor make separate visits to South Carolina

    By: MEG KINNARD, Associated Press

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Two of the nation's top jurists are making stops in South Carolina this week before the high court resumes session this fall.

    U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito is scheduled to be in Columbia on Thursday for the dedication of the new building for the University of South Carolina School of Law, according to school officials.

    The event, which coincides with the law school's 150th anniversary, also features remarks by university president Harris Pastides and South Carolina Chief Justice Don Beatty.

    Clemson University says Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is visiting its campus Thursday for a moderated question-and-answer session with students. According to the school, the visit is sponsored by the President's Forum on Inclusive Excellence in partnership with the Humanities Advancement Board of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

    Sotomayor has visited with some of the state's students before, addressing graduates of the University of South Carolina during commencement exercises in 2011.

    Alito has been on the high court since 2006 and is considered one of its more conservative members. In his first written opinion, Alito ordered a new trial for South Carolina defendant Bobby Lee Holmes, a case involving the right of criminal defendants to present evidence that a third party committed the crime.

    Sotomayor, 63, joined Alito in 2009 and is among the court's liberal justices. She is the first U.S. Supreme Court justice of Hispanic heritage and the third woman to serve on the court.

    The U.S. Supreme Court resumes session October 2.


    Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Read more of her work at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/meg-kinnard/

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