As he was gearing up for this week’s start of the new term, the U.S. Supreme Court’s newest member took time to stress the importance of judicial independence for a group of Nassau County, N.Y., judges and attorneys.

“I probably don’t need to convince the people in this room how important it is for us to preserve our federal and state court systems, which have played such an important part in the government of our country, in the freedoms that we enjoy and in the prosperity that we enjoy,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said during a speech Thursday evening at the Mineola, N.Y., headquarters of the Nassau County Bar Association.

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