Durbin's Disclosure About CAP

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Durbin's Disclosure About CAP

In this earlier post, I noted the questions that SCOTUS nominee Samuel Alito received during Senate hearings about his membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) -- an anti-coeducational group that even Bill Frist criticized for having a "narrow ideological perspective." Alito told the Senate Wednesday that he didn't recall joining CAP and that he did so only because he supported the reinstatement of ROTC at Princeton Univ.

But I just read through a transcript of Wednesday's Senate hearings for portions I wasn't able to listen to. And I came across this interesting comment by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.):
"Let me just go to the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. I didn't understand your answer. Your answer said something about ROTC being discontinued at Princeton University. I know you were involved in ROTC. I'm told that by the time you filled out this application (for a Reagan administration post in 1985) ROTC had been restored."
It would be interesting to confirm if, in fact, this is true. If ROTC was reinstated at Princeton before 1985, then Alito's explanation for why he joined CAP would not explain why he chose to tout his CAP membership on the '85 application.

Yesterday, Alito told Sen. Durbin:
"... I have wracked my memory on this, that if I had participated in the group in any active way, if I had attended meetings or done anything else substantial in connection with this group, I would remember it .... if I had renewed my (CAP) membership, for example, over a period of years, I'm sure I would remember that."
Yet Alito remembered the group well enough to put it on his application form. Try explaining that. There are two logical scenarios, and neither speaks well of Alito's integrity:
Under this scenario, Alito is lying about his knowledge of CAP's extreme views and/or his involvement in the group. Lying about such an issue would certainly be reasonable grounds to reject a nominee.

Under this scenario, Alito is speaking truthfully when he told Senators he had no real contact with CAP, never attended its meetings, etc. But, if he is speaking truthfully in this regard, putting CAP on his 1985 application amounted to misrepresentation by suggesting he had had a closer connection to CAP.

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