What you don't know is that married waitresses have to have their husbands' permission to wait on him.
OK, I made that up.
But Alito's 1991 ruling on a section of Pennsylvania's abortion law was nearly that repressive. He upheld the provision that required married women to notify their spouses before they could get an abortion.
The two other judges on the three-judge federal panel who heard Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey struck down that provision.
The U.S. Supreme Court also ruled it unconstitutional, declaring that it theoretically could "give to a man the kind of dominion over his wife that parents exercise over their children."
THIS is the man who will sit on the top court, with final say on contested public policy?
No wonder the rabid right is rejoicing.
If this ruling is any indication, Alito isn't conservative. He's dangerously radical.
That impression was confirmed when I read part of the trial transcript and the top court's decision in the case.
Bad enough that Alito ignored trial testimony from an expert witness who said: "Forcing a battered woman to notify her husband is like giving him a hammer to just beat her with."
Clearly, the victims of domestic violence would have been hurt the most by the spousal notification provision - and I do mean that literally.
But the import of this requirement goes way beyond that.
The notion that government could force any woman to talk to her husband - over her better judgment - is mind-boggling. The notion that government could override a personal decision to allegedly foster marital communication is unthinkable. But that's the upshot of Alito's decision.
The state legislators who wrote the statute, Alito said, could have believed "that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husband's knowledge because of perceived problems - such as economic constraints, future plans or the husband's previously expressed opposition - that may be obviated by discussion prior to abortion."
How paternalistic and condescending can you get?
Kathryn Kolbert, who argued the case before the appeals court and the Supreme Court, characterizes Alito's thinking in this case as "out of the mainstream."
OK, so if you think I'm just a feminist zealot who's overstating the implications of the provision, consider what the Supreme Court said in throwing it out.
Filing a spousal-consent form would not only "force women to reveal their most intimate decision making on pain of criminal sanctions," it would subjugate them to the will of their husbands.
"If a husband's interest in the potential life of the child outweighs a wife's liberty," the state could require pregnant married women to notify their husbands "before engaging in conduct causing risks to the fetus ... including drinking, or smoking," the court said.
"A husband has no enforceable right to require a wife to advise him before she exercises her personal choices."
But not according to Alito.
The thought of elevating the judge who endorsed this patriarchal provision to the nation's top court is enough to drive me to drink.
And I don't mean coffee.
Jill Porter is a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.