Alito and CAP: More Details

Did Judge Sam Alito tell the truth about CAP at his confirmation hearing? Here are some more details about CAP from Berkely Professor Jerome Karabel, author of The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Prof. Karabel asks:

Why, then, in late 1989 -- 13 years after CAP was founded -- would the mild-mannered Samuel Alito tout his membership in such an organization as he sought the job of Deputy Assistant Attorney General?

....In all likelihood, Alito -- who was by all accounts a marginal and inactive member of CAP -- highlighted his membership in the organization for the most prosaic of reasons: he thought that it would signal to the movement conservatives who controlled appointments in the Justice Department that he shared their values and was a member of their network. Alito was not wrong, and in late 1985 -- shortly after Prospect published what turned out to be its last issue -- he received the promotion that helped place him on the path to the Supreme Court.

[graphic created exclusively for TalkLeft by CL.]

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    Re: Alito and CAP: More Details (none / 0) (#1)
    by wg on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 10:36:46 PM EST
    This is likely correct, the competition for high level DoJ jobs is intense and rarely pretty as is anything in the private sector. Tooth and nail, scratch and claw, whine or demand while pretending to mantain some semblance of civility. No methods are spared, however questionable. Whatever it takes. You may think that given his judicial aspirations Alito would hesitate to put what he put on that DoJ resume and he likely did but finally decided to ignore higher principles on grounds that they do not apply in real life. There is little reason to hope that he will refrain from using this reasoning in his future ativities on the Supreme court. Political expectations for him are high and he will be bound to deliver. -- One wonders why jobs in the DoJ which by their nature should be totally apolitical are anything but. Isn't justice itself supposed to be apolitical? -- And finally considering his evasiveness, one begins to think that maybe waterboarding shouldn't be totally illegal after all. I bet you a few dunks and the guy would be singing. What do you say Sen. MacCain?

    Re: Alito and CAP: More Details (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 11:09:56 PM EST
    Mark Shields speculated on the News Hour:
    I thought the CAP thing was the one place where Judge Alito looked uncomfortable consistently when he was asked about it, and the reason is, my own speculation is he listed it in 1985 on his resume for a credential. I don't think he ever belonged to it; I think he might have gone to one meeting. He sure as hell didn't subscribe -- nothing in his life position has subscribed to it.

    Re: Alito and CAP: More Details (none / 0) (#3)
    by wg on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 02:14:12 AM EST
    Here another exchange that didn't happen, proceed at your own risk Senator - Consider this hypothetical situation: a high school, some drug activity is observed during the recess. Police is called in. They happen to know that dealers often hide their wares on girls to minimize chances of detection. Aware of your stand on those issues they strip search every teenage girl in presence. Legal? Alito - I hesitate to prejudge a situation like that Senator, it's likely I'll be sitting on a case like that in the future. ... I'm dubious though, there is no warrant here, is there? Senator - No there isn't. But given the totality of the situation, specifically the plain exigency of it, the police could claim the search was proper. Could they? Alito - I guess you're right, it appears they could and properly so. Senator - I see you daughter here, Mr. Alito, she is sitting behind you and she appears to be of high-school age. Do us a favor please and ask her how would she feel if that happened in her school and that was her vagina that was among those that were inspected by the police. (kid's sobbing, wife apoplectic) Alito - Senator. I resent you dragging my family into it, especially my daughter. Senator - But she is just another American girl like that one you OK-ed strip searching for. What's different about her? Alito - I resent that again Senator, she's a nice clean girl and a daughter of a judge. That should count for something. Senator - It doesn't Mr. Alito. Let me remind you of something, what's proper for one citizen of this country is proper for any other. It's called democracy. And let me finish with this, Judge Alito you are perfectly qualified for any court in this land on technical grounds, on moral and ethical grounds you are not fit for a traffic court. Thank you.

    Re: Alito and CAP: More Details (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Jan 15, 2006 at 10:14:30 AM EST

    Why, then, in late 1989 … Alito was not wrong, and in late 1985 …

    This was a typo in the original Huffington Post that's repeated here. CAP was founded in 1972, so 13 years later was 1985, when Alito used it on his application to help him get the AG job. FYI.