Alito's Arrival Shifts Seating on High Court

There's a new bench lineup on the Supreme Court with the arrival of the newly confirmed Justice Samuel Alito. He'll sit at the far end of the right side of the bench... literally.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

There's a new lineup on the bench -- of the U.S. Supreme Court, that is. With this week's confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer is no longer the junior justice, a designation he's held since 1994. Now, it's Justice Alito who will seat all the way at the far end of the bench, on the right side, for courtroom spectators. Justice Alito will also have to answer the door when someone knocks during closed conferences -- what are they doing in there, ordering pizza? -- and report the justices' votes to the clerk. And I imagine if the justices want coffee, they'll say, Sam, latte skinny, no sugar, okay?

Judge Breyer will now move to the far left on the bench and Antonin Scalia will occupy Sandra Day O'Connor's vacated spot to the right of the Chief Justice. This is an actual seating chart and not some kind of metaphor. Even though Chief Justice John Roberts is also a rookie, he gets to sit center stage.

Coming up, a rookie recording artist does it all on her own. K. T. Tunstall at the top of the British charts, coming soon to a radio near you. Ours. Stay tuned.

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