pageok
pageok
pageok
More on CAP:
At the Washington Post, Dana Milbank suggests that the Alito nomination may boil down (weirdly enough) to Alito's role in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton:
Thus did Democrats take their last stand against Alito. It had become clear that the committee, with unified GOP support, would clear the judge. Surveying the various lines of attack against Alito -- his opposition to abortion, his support for a powerful president, his conflict-of-interest issues -- Democrats concluded that their best hope was in Alito's membership in a group opposed to gains by women and minorities. Clarence Thomas had Anita Hill. Alito would have the Concerned Alumni of Princeton.
Meanwhile, over at Bench Memos, Ed Whelan reports:
I have been informed by a very reliable source that Senate Judiciary Committee staffers have reviewed the entirety of William Rusher's CAP documents at the Library of Congress and have determined that those documents make no mention at all of Alito.
  UPDATE: I added the Milbank commentary after posting Whelan's news.
Paulg (mail):
What I'd like to see is a GOP senator put the following questions to Alito:
- Have you met Jack Abromhoff, and if so have you ever accepted money from him?
- Have you ever been expelled from a university for cheating?
- Have you ever been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident?
- Have you ever been a member of the Ku Klux Klan?
- Have you ever had a waitress sandwich?
- Have you ever been cited for reckless driving or drink driving?
1.11.2006 11:16pm
SLS 1L:
I've thought CAP would be deal ever since the New York Times "broke" the story by giving it a paragraph at the end of a long article about something else. CAP was an extremely repulsive group, and the American people have the right to know why Alito was bragging about his membership in it.

Of course, it may just be meaningless puffery. If I were applying for a job with a group I thought would look favorably on it, I'd give them a version of my cover letter and resume that emhasized my Federalist Society membership and downplayed my ACS membership. It would be lunacy to conclude from that that I'm an ideological conservative.
1.11.2006 11:44pm
Reason:
If there were anything of substance to be found in the papers (or even a mention of Alito), the Times would have published it.
1.12.2006 12:00am
Kajagoogoo:
Yeah, who cares whether the docs mention Alito?

The document Alito wrote mentions them.
1.12.2006 12:02am
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
Some of these I dont get, possibily due to my own ignorance.

- Have you met Jack Abromhoff, and if so have you ever accepted money from him? (could be half of washington)
- Have you ever been expelled from a university for cheating? (dunno)
- Have you ever been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident? (kennedy?)
- Have you ever been a member of the Ku Klux Klan? (byrd?)
- Have you ever had a waitress sandwich? (dunno, but would like to)
- Have you ever been cited for reckless driving or drink driving? (hahah kennedy wins again)

SLS 1L, about CAP, he probably joined and forgot about it. I once joined Amnesty International before deciding they were a bunch of socialist nutjobs and stopped attending after maybe the 2nd meeting. My name probably still appears on a list of members somewhere. Does this mean I care about human rights or have left-leaning political views? Not really.

About putting it on his resume, I have everything from the past 10 years on my resume and I barely remember 80 percent of it without reading it. I name-drop the learning institutions I attended. Who wouldnt?
1.12.2006 12:03am
Paulg (mail):
- Have you met Jack Abromhoff, and if so have you ever accepted money from him?

Politicians generally

- Have you ever been expelled from a university for cheating?

Teddy

- Have you ever been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident?

Teddy

- Have you ever been a member of the Ku Klux Klan?

Byrd

- Have you ever had a waitress sandwich?

Teddy and Chris Dodd

- Have you ever been cited for reckless driving or drink driving?

Teddy again.
1.12.2006 12:27am
Justice Fuller:
Here's what I don't get: If CAP was known to be such a racist and sexist group, why did Bill Bradley join it in the first place? (I realize he quit eventually, but I believe he did join the group for a while. Does this mean Bill Bradley was a racist for a while?)
1.12.2006 12:46am
Jeff Wartman (mail):
- Have you ever been expelled from a university for cheating?
Joe Biden
1.12.2006 12:50am
Defending the Indefensible:
I'm no fan of Joe Biden, but he wasn't expelled for cheating.

Wikipedia has this:

Controversy broke Biden's candidacy for the U.S. presidency in the 1988 Presidential campaign. He was alleged to have plagiarized a speech from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. After Biden withdrew from the race, it was learned that he had correctly credited Kinnock on other occasions but failed to do so in an Iowa speech that was recorded and distributed to reporters by aides to Michael Dukakis, the eventual nominee. Dukakis fired the senior aide responsible, but the damage had already been done to Biden.

It was also alleged that Biden had plagiarized while in law school 20 years earlier in a first-year legal-writing class. Unaware of appropriate standards for legal briefs at the beginning of his legal training, Biden used a single footnote rather than multiple citations required to cite five pages from a legal article. Both Syracuse University Law School and the Delaware State Bar Association cleared Biden of plagiarism charges.
1.12.2006 1:19am
Wintermute (www):
Don't worry, Orin, your buddy is on. May he serve this nation well. But...who is the cute brunette sitting behind him to his left?
1.12.2006 1:36am
Mark Buehner (mail):
Ok, lets take it from this angle. Many of you folks are lawyers. Look at this as a case. A guy with an otherwise sterling record is a nominal member (and there hasnt been the tiniest shred of evidence otherwise) of an organization (along with the likes of Bill Bradley) some of whose members advocated some terrible things, even in the name of the organization. Oh, and all this happend more than 20 years ago. There apparently isnt a hint of racism anywhere else in his record. His references are flawless. Lets cut to brass tacks, is there a chance in hell of convincing a jury this guy is a racist? Because once you take all the smoke and mirrors, that is the charge being insidiously leveled.

Not turn that around a second, and if this is our new standard for condemning people, does Teddy Kennedy's membership in the DNC during the worst of the anti-Civil Rights wars not bear a passing resemblence to this situation? Kennedy was a very active member of a major political party whose fellow senators were spewing some of the worst filth imaginable on the Senate floor. What are we to make of that?
1.12.2006 1:43am
The General:
"Have you ever been convicted of leaving the scene of an accident?"

That should read:

- Have you ever who left a woman to drown in a car that you drove off a bridge into a river because you were driving totally intoxicated?

The follow up question:

- Did your family wealth and influence buy your way out of jail relating to the drowning woman incident?

www.ytedk.com
1.12.2006 2:06am
Wintermute (www):
I came back here looking for a link for my blog and had to scan through a couple of comments that, to me, belong on limbaugh.com instead of lawprofessors.com. Lindsay Graham talked effectively today about guilt by association, and the same goes for stale ad hominems like the Chappaquiddick meme. I reject much of Ted's message, but not because of some drunk f**k-up decades ago. We have to share a country together, but I don't come here for yellow press.
1.12.2006 2:37am
Gene Vilensky (mail) (www):
Wintermute, the point about Chappaquiddick is that Kennedy now serves on the Senate judiciary committee despite essentially committing murder by depraved indeference, while excoriating Alito for, 20 years ago or so having belonged to a group that has some racist members. I'm sorry but his blustering over CAP is the height of self-righteous hypocrisy.
1.12.2006 2:49am
Noah Klein (mail):

I expected to be upset over this nomination. Not only, do I not like the policies of the person who nominated him, but I had heard some hearsay cases against him, which made me wonder about the kind of judge he would be. While I do suggest you read Cass Sunstein's analysis, I do not think there is any legitimate reason to oppose his nomination. Here's the link on the article by Sunstein.

Alito is definately a conservative. There is no question, like with Roberts, that he is conservative. Yet all the ethically claims seem to be baseless and the CAP evidence is weak. Thus the only logical reason to oppose him would be if he were so extreme that putting on the court would be a detriment to the court and our government. Let me explain what I mean by extreme:

This does not mean that he opposes Roe or even Griswold (Thomas opposes in Griswold). Extreme positions do not deal with a couple of cases, but instead would mean that he did not believe in precedents or he supported Plessy or other similiar positions.

Alito, while pretty conservative is not an extremists, but instead seems moderate and reasonable in views. That is why I think he will be confirmed by between 3/5ths and 2/3rds of the Senate.

Noah
1.12.2006 3:30am
PersonFromPorlock:
Noah:

...that he did not believe in precedents or he supported Plessy or other similiar positions.

Aren't you trying to have your cake and eat it too? A justice who consistently believed in precedent would support not just Plessy but Scott, too. It seems to me that the Democrats' current passion for 'precedent' is nothing more than an attempt to embalm the Court in its (recent) liberal past.
1.12.2006 6:27am
Apodaca:
Wintermute:
who is the cute brunette sitting behind him to his left?
If you mean the tall brunette with the slightly long face -- she could almost be out of a Modigliani painting -- that's Rachel Brand, the AAG for OLP at DOJ.
1.12.2006 7:48am
Pete Freans (mail):
Judge Alito's explanation is absolutely plausible-that he doesn't remember actively participating in CAP and that he would have never endorsed such an organization if he had known CAP's extreme positions on women, monorities, &homosexuals. It's absurd to think that an outstanding lawyer with ambitions for the bench would knowingly associate himself with such an invective organization. I think these hearings have slowly sunk into the theater of the absurd, I'm afraid to say.
1.12.2006 7:50am
Apodaca:
I propose a corollary to Godwin's Law:
As an online discussion of any partisan dispute on the Senate Judiciary Committee grows longer, the probability of a reference to Chappaquiddick approaches 1.
Would it be rude of me to suggest calling this Pons Asinorum?
: )
1.12.2006 7:56am
magoo (mail):
"...no mention at all of Alito."

At this point, they're not looking for this. Instead, they're searching for more extreme articulations by CAP, so they can add them to the big poster in the hearing room that recites the rascist and sexist slurs by other CAP members. Classy, very classy.
1.12.2006 8:54am
Bob Bobstein (mail):
A guy with an otherwise sterling record is a nominal member (and there hasnt been the tiniest shred of evidence otherwise) of an organization (along with the likes of Bill Bradley) some of whose members advocated some terrible things, even in the name of the organization.

The reason that this is an issue is NOT NOT NOT just that he was once a member of CAP. Rather, it's that he (1) touted his membership in a job application in 1985, and (2) claims now to have no memory whatsoever of the group, except for a nonsensical assertion that it had to do with the expulsion of ROTC (which was never one of CAP's big concerns, plus ROTC had been re-admitted back when Alito was still at Princeton more than a decade earlier).

All he had to do was say, "hey look, I was a busy guy and hadn't done much activism, and I wanted to play up my conservative credentials to apply for work in the Reagan DOJ. So I listed this group that I sort of belonged to, with the vague idea that they were conservative."

While I personally don't remember every group I've ever belonged to, I hope that I could come up with more than a "wow, never heard of 'em" for a university-related group that I listed on my resume more than a decade after graduating.

Here's one explanation of how that group got on Alito's application:

Schumer: "Why that group with its tawdry history?"

"I was applying for a position in the Reagan administration," Alito said.
1.12.2006 9:31am
PersonFromPorlock:
Apodaca:

I modestly propose the 'Godwin's Squared Law': in any online discussion of any length, someone will eventually cite Godwin's Law. ;^)
1.12.2006 9:35am
Jay:

The reason that this is an issue is NOT NOT NOT just that he was once a member of CAP. Rather, it's that he (1) touted his membership in a job application in 1985, and (2) claims now to have no memory whatsoever of the group


Yes.
I also think that this kind of logic is the basis of a great response Democrats could use to the charges that they are attacking Alito too ruthlessly. Alito basically said that he is willing to distort the truth to get a job, as long as he doesn't lie outright ("You want me to be really conservative? Sure, I can be really conservative!"). He hasn't said anything to indicate that he wishes he hadn't contorted himself to sell himself for a position twenty years ago. Consequently, I think senators have every reason to do everything in their power to figure out whether we're now getting a presentation of the real Alito, or the most confirmable version of Alito that stretches the truth left and right, but doesn't actually break it.
1.12.2006 9:48am
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):

Schumer: "Why that group with its tawdry history?"

"I was applying for a position in the Reagan administration," Alito said.

That seems like a perfectly acceptable answer to me. I might be concerned if Alito didnt have 15 years of opinions to his name since then. I personally feel more comfortable with Alito, whose work as a judge you can see than with Roberts, who was essentially a conservative mystery man and much more of an insider.
1.12.2006 9:53am
Duncan Frissell (mail):

SLS 1L:
CAP was an extremely repulsive group, and the American people have the right to know why Alito was bragging about his membership in it.

You should be aware that more Americans are repulsed by various left-wing groups I could name than right-wing groups (since more Americans self-identify as right than as left).

CAP was similar to hundreds of other campus-based conservative groups that used to exist and still exist. They were quite mainstream (among conservatives).

Now it's a normal "left-wing attack formation" to characterize right-wing groups in a particular fashion (racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe). Trust me, I can formulate similar right-wing attack formations against left-wing groups. I do it for recreational purposes from time to time.

What's important is for commies to realize deep in their non-existent souls that right wingers aren't going away (and indeed the disease seems to be spreading). Welcome to the club. We've had to put up with you for the last 50 years and you're just going to have to put up with us. We had to accept sodomy you're going to have to accept neo-traditionalism.
1.12.2006 10:23am
Apodaca:
PfP writes:
I modestly propose the 'Godwin's Squared Law': in any online discussion of any length, someone will eventually cite Godwin's Law. ;^)
It won't stop there. People will start citing the GSL so much we'll need the Godwin's Cubed Law, und so weiter.

In other words, it's Godwins all the way down.
1.12.2006 10:35am
Bob Bobstein (mail):
Duncan Frissell wrote: "CAP was similar to hundreds of other campus-based conservative groups that used to exist and still exist. They were quite mainstream (among conservatives)."

I hope that you haven't had a chance to read CAP stuff when you make that assertion. They were right wing like the John Birch Society was right wing, like the American Communist Part was left wing.

Ie, "People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns blacks and hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and hispanic, the physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports, and homosexuals are demanding that government vouchsafe them the right to bear children." "Here at Princeton homosexuals are on the rampage." Another article poked fun at Sally Frank, a Princeton alumna who was suing the university for denying women access to all-male eating clubs. It noted that a Rhode Island woman who'd won a discrimination suit against a mining company had subsequently died in an on-the-job accident. "Sally Frank, take note," it quipped.

Duncan Frissell wrote: We had to accept sodomy

How did that work out for you?
1.12.2006 10:38am
Apodaca:
Bob Bobstein writes:
Duncan Frissell wrote: We had to accept sodomy
How did that work out for you?
That depends on whether it was an entry-level position.
1.12.2006 10:44am
Houston Lawyer:
The CAP language quoted is a bit harsh, but you could still get a large percentage of the population to agree that it sums up their feelings. CAP was apparently run by Bill Rusher, who served for years as publisher of National Review. National Review and Bill Buckley have spent the last 50 years ensuring that the John Birch elements of the right have been effectively marginalized. I don't believe that Rusher would have run an overtly racist organization.

Membership in the organization by people like Bill Bradley tends to back up that understanding. Do we know the names of other members with Democratic party affiliations?
1.12.2006 10:59am
Mark Buehner (mail) (www):
Good point, It might be well to note that all we really know of CAP is the cherry picked quotes presented by Kennedy. I expect I could find some interesting literature put out by individuals in the ACLU to present that if taken as representative of the group as a whole would as disturbing as it would be unfair. Should Ruth Ginsberg have been held responsible for every word uttered by every ACLU member? And should we have judged the ACLU soley in the way it might be described by a hyper-idiological opposition member? Because that is exactly what is happening here.
1.12.2006 11:11am
Bob Bobstein (mail):
Here you go Mark and Houston Lawyer, here's a well-sourced article that will help you learn more about CAP.

Also, Houston Lawyer, I'm sure you could find a certain percentage of the population that believes in UFOs or a Jewish conspiracy. Let's not put those folks on the Supreme Court, OK?

This is all a distraction from the main issue: that Alito has not been forthcoming about his role in CAP.
1.12.2006 11:20am
David Matthews (mail):
Somewhere along the line, the word "touted" has become the preferred one, presumably because it carries emotional baggage while sounding more scholarly than "bragged." Seems the most dispassionate and accurate statement would be "listed." In filling in a blank on a form, while scratching his head to come up with "political activities," the best this usually apolitical chap looking for a political job could come up with was "Concerned Alumni for Princeton." So he listed it, despite having very little involvement in it, and realizing it was pretty lame compared to what some others might be putting down ("past president of Wyoming Chapter of Young Republicans" or whatever.)

"Touted" is a stretch, at best. (By the way, I'm assuming the definition of "tout" being used is the variant of "toot," as in, to toot one's own horn, rather than the definition "to spy out;" by the second definition, it is clearly the Democratic staffers who have been "touting" Alito's membership.)
1.12.2006 12:03pm
Mark Buehner (mail) (www):
This is all a distraction from the main issue: that Alito has not been forthcoming about his role in CAP.

Your characterization. Which is entirely at odds with the facts. There is zero evidence Alito had any role with CAP other than 1.signing up 2.listing his membership on a job application years later (described as a conservative alumni club). You are asking the man to prove a negative. Meanwhile the records have been searched, one would assume maniacally, and zero references have been found to Alito in any capacity. So we are back to conspiracy theories.
1.12.2006 12:25pm
PersonFromPorlock:
January 14, 1963: Wallace delivers his "segregation now, segregation forever" inaugural speech, penned by Asa Carter, the founder of a KKK terrorist organization.

So why, late on the evening of that day, did Sen. Kennedy not resign from Gov. Wallace's party?
1.12.2006 12:33pm
Bob Bobstein (mail):
You are asking the man to prove a negative.

Remember, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence! I say, attack! Even if we are wrong, our cause of defending limited executive powers and a right to privacy is a just one, and history will look kindly on us.

(Ha ha, just kidding).

I just find it hard to believe that he wouldn't remember a single thing about the group that he chose to list on his resume more than a decade after he graduated. Someone has made the point, if he wasn't involved with this disreputable group, why did he act as though he was?

It reflects poorly on Alito that he listed that organization on his resume. He has had ample opportunity to explain it away-- defend the organization, defend his membership, explain that he had limited knowledge of what they did, whatever. But all we get is a Reaganesque memory for detail about potentially damaging facts.
1.12.2006 12:39pm
David Matthews (mail):
"But all we get is a Reaganesque memory for detail"

I believe that "Hillaryesque" might be more appropriate, given her testimony before the OIC and her reputation for brilliance; after all, Reagan had a valid excuse.
1.12.2006 12:54pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
And the talking points continue:

Rather, it's that he (1) touted his membership in a job application in 1985


CAP was an extremely repulsive group, and the American people have the right to know why Alito was bragging about his membership in it.

Interesting the definition of "touted" and "bragging about" now appears to be "anything listed on your resume."



Every attorney or law student who pays their ABA dues and lists their membership in the bar on their resume should be put on notice that they are now considered to have "bragg[ed] about" and "touted" their membership in the ABA and may be held responsible for the baggage of the particular group as well
1.12.2006 1:02pm
Mark Buehner (mail) (www):
"I just find it hard to believe that he wouldn't remember a single thing about the group that he chose to list on his resume more than a decade after he graduated."

Try running a credit report sometime. Most people (myself included) have credit lines they have no recall of opening from years ago. I have a Chase account i opened in college apparently. No idea when where or why, certainly dont recall having a card. Thats my credit, not some minor resume padding.

Put yourself in Alito's shoes. Lets say you were applying for a job in the Interior Dept under President Hillary. You want the job but your a lawyer, not an environmentalist. So you are filling out your resume, activities come up and as you are digging through your records you find you joined some environmental group during college years ago. You put that down on your resmume. 10 years later some senator is grilling you because the group you listed went on to encourage fire bombing Hummer dealerships. Does that sound implausible, knowing this guy is utterly squeeky clean? Is that fair?


"Someone has made the point, if he wasn't involved with this disreputable group, why did he act as though he was?"

Er, he put down an exact fact, that he had belonged to the group in college. Just as a lot of people joined Greenepeace. Does that mean they were out hijacking whaling boats? Or that maybe they jotted their name down one forgotten afternoon 20 years ago after seeing a brochure on clubbing baby seals. Is it unreasonable that 10 years on if someone asked you what your environmental credentials were you would include that?
1.12.2006 1:10pm
Robert Schwartz (mail):
"the AAG for OLP at DOJ."

And you wonder why us Americans are so baffled by what goes on in Washington.
1.12.2006 1:58pm
Hoosier:
I have been thinking long an hard about the Kennedy-Kopeckne references, Ted's failure to point out abuses that his brother engaged in as AG (when Ted was in the Senate), etc. Are they relevant, or ad homenim distractions?

For what it's worth, these facts--and they are facts--do not have any bearing upon the case for or against Alito. I cannot bear Kennedy, and am concerned that his final oration on the Alito case may outstrip his fatuity during the Bork fiasco. Wm Buckley's line that Kennedy should neither drive nor orate while drunk comes readily to mind.

But even if Kennedy were the devil himself, we would have to assess his accusations on their own merits. He would be a hypocrit to attack Alito for, say, making a waitress sandwich in the Senate dining room. Yet, had Alito done so, Teddy would be doing the right thing in voting against him.

Since we are talking about Alito on this blog at this time, I have to side with those who say enough, already, with Chappaquidick (sp?).

But in the long-term, what are we left with? A confirmation process in which Ted Kennedy questions a person's integrity. In which Chuck Grassley assesses his intellectual fitness for the Court.

Democracy can be a pain in the neck at times.
1.12.2006 2:53pm
Apodaca:
Robert Schwartz writes:
"the AAG for OLP at DOJ."
And you wonder why us Americans are so baffled by what goes on in Washington.
Actually, what really floors me is the inability in certain quarters to recognize deliberate mockery of just such Beltway-speak. (No self-respecting bureaucrat would give you a hyperlink to a story spelling out all the TLAs.)
1.12.2006 6:00pm
Paulg (mail):

I came back here looking for a link for my blog and had to scan through a couple of comments that, to me, belong on limbaugh.com instead of lawprofessors.com. Lindsay Graham talked effectively today about guilt by association, and the same goes for stale ad hominems like the Chappaquiddick meme. I reject much of Ted's message, but not because of some drunk f**k-up decades ago. We have to share a country together, but I don't come here for yellow press


Sorry about starting all of that, but it gets me upset when Senators (of either party) go hunting for guilt by association in juducial appointments, when they are willing to forgive and forget far greater sins amongst their fellow senators. It's also why I tried to keep my initial rant on things that are proven and in the public record.

If Ted Kennedy (or Byrd, or an Abromhoff crony) were to go through a nomination hearing for a judicial post his character would be rightly considered unfit for a judicial appointment.
1.12.2006 6:44pm
lee (mail):
Murder by depraved indeference


INDEFERENCE would make a great word, but it isn't one.
1.13.2006 12:41am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The people who say that they don't believe that he doesn't remember CAP don't seem to realize what it was. It's not like CAP was out staging sit ins and the like. Yeah -- it might be pretty hard to forget that. But all they really did was send nasty letters to the editor of the Prince (campus newspaper) and PAW (official alumni magazine), print up their own alumni magazine, etc. Him being a "member" would have meant that he put his name down and was on a mailing list. That's it.

Is it really that hard to imagine that he might have forgotten that he once was on a mailing list, twenty years earlier? Or that he might not know what else they did? If you don't think your university is taking women's issues seriously, you might sign up with the campus chapter of NOW or something, to make a statement. Do you pay attention to everything they do from then on? So later you're applying for a job with some liberal organization and need to prove your liberal bona fides, so you search your memory and say, "Oh, I'm a member of NOW." Does that mean you endorse everything someone who is a member of NOW might say at some point?
1.13.2006 12:47am