January 11, 2006

Kennedy's flare up.

Senator Kennedy just made a big scene about requesting some Library of Congress papers having to do with the activities of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. Alito has been consistently downplaying the significance of that organization to him, even though we all know that he used it as a credential in applying for a job in the Reagan Administration back in 1985.

What is the relevance of these papers? They could provide some basis for making an inference about what Alito really knew about CAP, but it is rather marginal. Kennedy tried to bluster his way toward portraying the papers as a smoking gun that would prove Alito a racist, a sexist, and a liar. He seemed to want to trip up the hearings and grind them to a halt. He asked to take the committee into executive session to decide whether to issue a subpoena. Specter tried to quell him, but that just fired him up, so Specter locked into I'm-the-chairman mode, said he wouldn't rule, and when Kennedy said he appealed the ruling, said he hadn't ruled, banged the gavel, and set up the seemingly shaken Senator Grassley to return us to normal-style questioning.

Whew! That was ugly... but kind of funny too, especially the part where Kennedy said Specter received his notice that he was requesting the documents, and Specter got all huffy about how Kennedy was in no position to say what he (Specter) had received, and Kennedy countered with his authority to say what he (Kennedy) had sent.

UPDATE: Joe's Dartblog has the transcript and some choice words for Kennedy.

ANOTHER UPDATE: After the lunch break, the mood is quite different. Kennedy is whipped, looking down, speaking in a circumspect tone. Specter is smirking and quietly triumphant. Very amusing!

72 comments:

Jonathan said...

When you have nothing, stall. If Kennedy can drag the committee into executive session, he can easily drag it out for the rest of today's session and maybe into tomorrow as well. It's speaks volumes about how the Democrats have underestimated Alito. I don't think they would have ever thought he would be as forthcoming as he's been, and they simply don't know what to do.

Sloanasaurus said...

It makes for good theater. Democrats must realize that defeat is becoming inevitable... just as victory in Iraq is becoming inevitable. It may be a bad year for Democrats.

Brendan said...

This is the same guy who was kicked out of college for cheating, right? The same guy who frets about library records vis-a-vis the Patriot Act?

Davidwarner said...

I disagree that this is simply some dilatory tactic. This is an important issue. Alito has essentially vacillated on what he remembers of CAP and why he may have joined. If the evidence Kennedy wants subpoenaed is provided and examined and it supports the contention that he perhaps naively joined an questionable organization for innocent reasons, so be it, no problem. However, if the evidence suggest that he was more active and knows more than he claimed, then that would raise serious questions about his integrity and character. Regardless of his or her politics, I think it important that a judge be of the utmost character.

TidalPoet said...

According to NRO, those papers have already been combed over by the NY Times.

http://bench.nationalreview.com/archives/086800.asp

Sloanasaurus said...

Ann I just heard you on Minnesota Public radio. Great job.

Jake said...

A chairman of a Senate Committee has a lot of power if he has the guts to exercise it. Sounds like Specter will exercise it.

It is rather silly for Kennedy to want to subpoena the CAP documents. The Democrats have already spent $10 million dollars finding every piece of paper that Alito touched and every paper ever issued by CAP.

Kennedy has those documents in his office and everyone knows

David said...

The tactics Kennedy used were surprisingly like those employed by Kerry against President Bush's Guard records. Alito rightly responded that the records were not his to produce. Why would Kennedy ask a question he did not know the answer to?

I think it was a cheap shot designed to raise the spectre of 'something to hide' with no intention of pursuing said records.

I am preparing myself for the inevitable democratic claim that the troops started coming home in 2006 because they pressured POTUS to do so.

Another question is why is abortion the keystone of the democratic platform? Who are they after? Women? Irresponsible Men? Feminists? Divorce lawyers?

For a society that doesn't want to talk about responsible sex we certainly want to talk about it's results!

Flagellum Dei said...

I just heard you on MPR.

You seemed to think there was no possible justification for not voting for Alito. Huh? Do we have a one-party system? Do we have King George II? You're going to, "hold it against them?"

The arrogance, the arrogance!

Did you agree with the Republican Senate blocking scores of Clinton nominees (not giving them the famous "up or down vote") on ideological reasons?

SteveR said...

"blocking scores" ??

Flagellum Dei said...

More than 100 ...

Flagellum Dei said...

Also don't forget that many Republicans, including Sen. Brownback voted in favor of fillibustering Clinton nominees.

David said...

Flagellate Day:

Common sense dictates that a majority of Americans don't believe in a "Living Constitution."
They do believe that the Constitution is the bedrock upon which our laws, rights, and privileges are based.

Remember the phrase, "KISS-Keep It Simple Stupid?" IMHO the founding fathers were much better students of history than Kennedy, Durbin, Biden, etc. ever will be. Let's stop trying to change the original intent.

Palladian said...

We are not considering Clinton nominees, or what mistakes or missteps Republicans may have made in regards to them. We are considering the record and abilities of Judge Alito. What, during these hearings, or in general of what is known of Alito's record, could be the basis of opposing Judge Alito's confirmation? Little, as far as I have seen. The Democrats know they have little sound reason to oppose this nominee. They're grasping at straws.

Flagellum Dei said...

No, wrong. She said that no one could reasonably vote against Alito (or Roberts.) I asked if she thought blocking (voting against) Clinton's nominees for ideological reasons was OK. If it's not OK to your vote against a qualified candidate from the other party, then it applies everywhere (not that I agree.)

All that said, I think Judge Alito is doing a great job in his testimony. (I'm listening to all the live hearings.)

He has done a great deal to allay worries I had about him.

Nevertheless, I "will hold it against" Ms. Althouse if she's inconsistent regarding dissent against the ruling party.

Flagellum Dei said...

Sorry to spoil the love-fest!

Jacques Cuze said...

Perhaps you should TIVO some more. Think Progress says that UPDATE: Sen. Kennedy just introduced Specter’s reply to his December 22 letter into the record. So there is proof that Specter did get the letter.

If this turns out to be the case will you update your post and link to Think Progress?

It is relevant of course since the fine legal mind that is Alito that can remember everything about everything legal just cannot remember his various promises, or his membership for eight years in a hate group that he proudly put on a job application. You don't actually buy that do you?

Joe's Dartblog shows Joe doesn't understand the issue. Kennedy didn't just fabricate the issue. He asked for these papers quite awhile ago. CAP is not a strawman. Whether Alito is a serial liar or not goes to his character and goes to whether this fine legal machine should be on the court.

Ann, your linking to Joe is a fine example of the misleading glennolink.

And now if Blogger posts this today (lots of errors coming from blogger) I will be pleasantly surprised.

Word Verification Image: "Verification Image" Sigh. I don't think posting this is going to be easy.

Henry said...

Davidwarner, please doublecheck Alito's responses. He has been completely clear:

1. He does not recollect joining CAP

2. He totally rejects the goals of CAP (and nothing about his own personal history suggests he would agree with them)

3. If he did, hypothetically, join a conservative alumni organization, the only reason he can think that he might do so is the ROTC issue.

Kennedy asserts that Alito says he joined CAP because of ROTC but that is not what Alito said and Kennedy's mistatement is hardly enlightening.

* * *

F-dei, there are a lot of people who want to see confirmation turn on qualifications and character, not on political litmus tests. This has nothing to do with the president. So Ann will hold it against the Dems. Good for her. I agree. I hold it against the Repubs that they smeared Lani Guinier. I hold it against both parties (and the media) that Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his Supreme Court nomination because he once smoked a joint or two. A pox on all of them.

brylin said...

Here is the Wall Street Journal editorial from 1985 about CAP and Princeton President Bowen that Sen. Kennedy asked Judge Alito if he read.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Icepick said...

FD, did Republicans refuse to vote for Clinton's SCOTUS nominees? The SCOTUS and the nomination and confirmation process for SCOTUS are held in somewhat higher regard than, say, the Surgeon General, an entry level federal judgeship, or the Assistant Undersecretary for the Developement of More Secretarial Assistant Undersecretaries.

While there were some Republicans that voted against Clinton's SCOTUS nominees, there was no serious effort to filibuster Clinton's nominees. Nor should there have been.

Further, before getting in a giant huff that Prof. Althouse isn't IMMEDIATELY answering your questions, please consider that she does have another job.

Icepick said...

And FD, it would be King George III. Try and keep up.

Icepick said...

Perhaps you should TIVO some more. Think Progress says that UPDATE: Sen. Kennedy just introduced Specter’s reply to his December 22 letter into the record. So there is proof that Specter did get the letter.

If this turns out to be the case will you update your post and link to Think Progress?


Yep, Quxxo, that's a fine GOTCHA! VERY compelling. I think I'll change my party affiliation to the CPA now. Perhaps we should have all Republicans burned at the stake for this most EGREGIOUS and HORRIFIC CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY!

Icepick said...

And who the hell updates a comment before posting and then posts it with the word "UPDATE" in it? I mean really, that's just absurd.

Davidwarner said...

Henry Woodbury said...

Davidwarner, please doublecheck Alito's responses. He has been completely clear:

1. He does not recollect joining CAP

No. He said to Leahy that he doesnt recall the organization but that if his job application materials mention it, he must've been a member.

He went on to say that if he were active in the organization or if he attended meetings, he would've remembered it and he doesn't.

Now, I do not find this clear or persuasive. But i'll give him the benefit of the doubt. However, if extrinsic evidence demonstrates that he attended numerous meetings or was in some way "active," then I question his integrity and have serious reservations about your second point below. Because in my mind, someone who wants a job is liable to say things and put their best foot forward. So when they were a member of an organization that had retrograde views about women and minorities and simply say they do not share those views, I would like a bit more than their self serving declaration if something more exists.

2. He totally rejects the goals of CAP (and nothing about his own personal history suggests he would agree with them)


-

Howard Beale said...

FD, did Republicans refuse to vote for Clinton's SCOTUS nominees?

No, but that is because one of his nominees, Ginsburg, was nominated upon Sen. Hatch's suggestion after Hatch told Clinton that his first choice would meet with strong resistance among Republicans, and the other, Breyer, was relatively moderate (certainly if you compare him to predecessors such as Scalia on the right and Brennan on the left).

The SCOTUS and the nomination and confirmation process for SCOTUS are held in somewhat higher regard than, say, the Surgeon General, an entry level federal judgeship, or the Assistant Undersecretary for the Developement of More Secretarial Assistant Undersecretaries.

Isn't that a reason to subject such a nomination - for a lifetime appointment, I might add - to greater scrutiny, not less?

Jacques Cuze said...

Alito's application statement is two pages of this PDF, hosted at PFAW, People for the American Way, on pages 15 and 16. As you can see he proudly states he is a member of two organizations, the Federalist Society and CAP. But now he cannot remember.

Word verification: scalito (I swear!)

TidalPoet said...

Beyond a political "gotcha" moment, I'm afraid your argument is rather pointless to the entirety of the situation.

So he was in an organization that the thought stood for something, found out it stood for quite another and has moved away from it.

Hardly what I'd consider a setback. Your chicken little routine does amuse though.

Icepick said...

Isn't that a reason to subject such a nomination - for a lifetime appointment, I might add - to greater scrutiny, not less?

Well, sure, if you consider greater scrutiny to mean Senators being a bunch of dumbassed blowhards. 'Cause that's all we get out of the Senate. (That is a condemnation of Senators from all parties, BTW.)

The real scrutiny has already taken place. Everyone from the ABA and the Federalist Society to my great aunt Malva Cheesegrater have gone over his records. No one has said he isn't qualified as a jurist. But many object SOLELY because they percieve that he will not vote for their party platform. That hardly speaks well of the critics. (And it doesn't speak well of the Republicans when they do the same thing the other way.)

No, but that is because one of his nominees, Ginsburg, was nominated upon Sen. Hatch's suggestion after Hatch told Clinton that his first choice would meet with strong resistance among Republicans....

I will note that Bush actually consulted with the Democratic Senators and choose one of their top selections: Harriet Myers.

...

That REALLY makes a good case for not listening to a damn thing (most of) these Democratic Senators have to say about Alito's qualifications, or lack thereof.

Joe Malchow said...

Quxxo...

I generally don't respond to comments like yours, and especially when they come from people unwilling to sign their name to them.

But you demonstrate that you, in fact, do not understand "the issue."

Senator Kennedy expended almost all of his thirty minutes attacking CAP as an organization. He used outrageous CAP quotes and then asked Alito if he'd read them, even after Alito said he wasn't a functioning member and never read the Prospect magazine. He outlined CAP's more wild stances on admission practices, even after Alito said he disagreed--strongly--with those views.

Kennedy was, indeed, using CAP as a strew man. Alito said he disagreed with CAP and never would be a part of an organization which opposed co-education and took anti-homosexual attitudes. Kennedy continued to attack CAP.

CAP, CAP, CAP.

Not Alito, Alito, Alito.

It is a classic case of projection. Or, in this case, hopeful projection on the part of Kennedy.

His purpose in demanding the Library of Congress documents (Since when do we need executive sessions and subpoenas to get material from LoC?) is not to prove Alito was in the organization--we know Alito was a member in name only, but he has said he wasn't active, disagreed with most of the opinions attributed to CAP, and he recalled that the only CAP position he agreed with was the pro-ROTC position. Kennedy's purpose is to delay, grandstand, make a fuss, and, eventually, filibuster.

Pay attention next time, and remember that youthful membership in activist college organizations does not an unfit justice make.

-joe

Aspasia M. said...

Yeah, and when he was 35 years old in 1985 he had absolutely NO idea what CAP was about. (He was too busy to notice the big scandal that CAP had become.)

Yeah, right. He was so worried about distancing himself from CAP in 1985 that he proudly referred to his membership in CAP.

If you believe this, I've got a bridge to sell you.

knoxgirl said...

sounds like a Nexium commercial:

"Do you suffer from the pain of Ted Kennedy flaring up again and again?"


...do I ever!

Davidwarner said...

Tidal Poet

There is no evidence in the record that upon discovering what CAP stood for, Judge Alito distanced himself from it.

As Geoduck says, he put it on in his job application materials with his resume. Now my resume only goes back 10 years, but I can assure you that I can speak intelligently and at length about anything on it.

Old Dad said...

Kennedy is a shameless boob, and the Dems resident bomb thrower. He's launcing this CAP red herring because no one else would.

What does he care? His reputation is shot, but that's nothing that a quart of Chivas can't fix.

"Alioto" is a slam dunk.

Simon said...

I find myself on all three sides of this question.

I agree with Kennedy's request: I think the Judiciary Committee should subpoena those documents. Alito has said he has no objection, and I very much doubt that Kennedy is going to find anything that helps his cause in there; there is no security issue, and this is entirely a dillatory tactic, an attempt to provoke the majority into wasting time fighting Kennedy's motions. So we should indulge the request.

On the other hand, while I support the substance of Sen. Kennedy's request, we should distinguish between the substance of the request, and the brusque and surly manner in which Kennedy attempted to present his request, for which I believe Sen. Spector (who I do not like, for the record, and so have no inclination to defend) slapped him down, very appropriately, I believe.

For what it's worth, on the underlying question, if I believed that the married Italian-American Alito were the woman-hating racist that Kennedy is attempting to smear him as, I would not support him, period. Kennedy is entirely right that such views should disqualify a person from the bench, but I would submit that if he - or the democrats on the committee - had any genuine or compelling evidence Alito was one of those things, they would have presented it by now in support of their argument. The job application reference to CAP scarcely qualifies as evidence of Alito's views then, let alone his views twenty years later; I think his behaviour since - in the U.S. Attorney's office and as a Judge - should carry far more weight than the guilt by association effort of the Senator from Massachussetts, and I can only assume that the focus on these non-issues like CAP and Vanguard is the result of a paucity of available ammunition.

Henry said...

FD, Quxxo, etc. If Alito is being deceptive about his involvement in CAP then he should be toast. But there's no evidence from anyone, anywhere, that he was ever an active member. Maybe the documents Kennedy wants will show that Altio dropped into CAP headquarters all the time, along 57 other future conservative judges, but I sincerely doubt it.

The whole job application thing seems mildly funny to me. I can just imagine his mom giving him advice, "Sammy, why don't you join some clubs. It'll look good on your resume." So the nerdy guy joins, never attends, and forgets about it. Years later he trying to look good in a job application, remembers his mom's advice, thinks, that might help, then forgets about it again.

Did he know all the dirt on CAP? Why should he have when he appears not to have cared a whit about the organization? davidwarner, you're asking him to refute something he claims he never knew.

It's not like CAP was all THAT big a story . I certainly don't think Kennedy knew anything about until a few weeks ago.

Pogo said...

Past membership in a hate organization hasn't seemed to hurt Senator Byrd, former Kleagle for the KKK.

Let's say Alito was a fully active member. The Byrd rule says we give him a pass, no?

Simon said...

David:
"There is no evidence in the record that upon discovering what CAP stood for, Judge Alito distanced himself from it."

As I understood Judge Alito's answer (the first time he gave it despite the fact that virtually every Senator has asked him the same questions over and over again - do Senators actually pay attention to one another's questions?), he only learned of the undesirable views of CAP - with which he has not been associated for many years - during his prep for the SCOTUS hearings. During his hearings, he has repeatedly denounced CAP's purpose, and explained the basis for his involvement with them, to the extent it existed. Assuming that Alito is being honest about when he found out about CAP's undesirable views, is there anything he can or should have done other than denounce them at the hearings?

Simon said...

To add to Henry's comments about clubs, I can add a story from a friend that makes me trust Alito's answers.

Alito has said he that was piqued by the treatement of ROTC at Princeton, and associated his name with CAP premised on their opposition to said treatment, and that he was unaware of their other views.

I have a friend who went to college in England at the turn of the century; now, prior to 1998, the English didn't pay tutition fees (or rather, the state paid), and their national students' union campaigned to overturn that law. Many students did not feel the union was doing a very good job, and so an organization was founded to demand the union do more. That same organization attracted heavy involvement from, including at the leadership levels, revolutionary socialist groups. My friend joined that organization because she wanted the union to campaign for free education, not because she subscribed to (or was even aware of) the socialist views of other members, which were increasingly advanced by the group as a whole. I don't think she ever formally *left* the group, she didn't take out a full-page ad to denounce the group (as some of our friends on the left seem to desire of Judge Alito), just paid no further attention to it.

Likewise, I think that's the situation with Alito. He was pissed at the attitude of Princeton towards the ROTC, and at least one of CAP's views was in support of ROTC. I can fully believe that he did not inquire as to their other views, or - even if he did - that he did not subscribe to them.

MadisonMan said...

Let's say Alito was a fully active member. The Byrd rule says we give him a pass, no?

Only if the people of New Jersey elect him.

It is depressing to read all the invective towards the Senate in this thread.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Davidwarner said...

Simon:
[I can fully believe that he did not inquire as to their other views, or - even if he did - that he did not subscribe to them.]

Though I respect your view and, I just have a hard time accepting that an accomplished and intelligent individual like Alito would join an organization--an organization he claimed membership in a dozen years after joining- and not have any sense of what that organizations aims were. Particularly when they were controversial at the time of his membership and were controversial enough to warrant significant treatment in the mainstream media at the very time that he listed them on his application. It just strikes me as highly implausible.

Icepick said...

MadisonMan, why is all the Senate-directed invective depressing? Becuase it's of such poor quality? We can't improve it if we don't know the reason for your complaint!

Concerning Alito putting his CAP membership on his resume: Was this a resume for his job in the govenrnment? If so, isn't a potential high-level hire required to list every organization he's ever been a member of? I could read up to find out how Alito mentioned his CAP membership in his resume, but I'm hoping someone can spare me the trouble. Really, what a boring issue.....

tiggeril said...

Oh my god. My dad's still watching the hearings.

This is killing more brain cells than all the drinking I did in college.

Folks, I was an econ major and this is boring me to death.

Howard Beale said...

Here's a plausible explanation for Alito putting CAP on his resume, courtesy of Al Franken (I'm ducking under my desk while the right wingers on this thread react to the mention of Franken's name). He highlight his CAP membership because he was a racist or a sexist. He did it in order to curry favor with the people who were considering him for a job the Reagan Justice Department, who themselves were racist and/or sexist. If that's what truly happened, it doesn't help my opinion about Alito as a person, but it probably doesn't disqualify him to serve on the Court.

MadisonMan said...

I think I was reacting more to the Dick Drubin commentary in the other comment stream. Senators as a rule are not dumb as a post. Dumb people do not get elected. If you are smart enough to get elected to a state-wide or country-wide office, you are not dumb. Sorry to conflate the two commentary streams.

Calling an opponent stoopid is just plain lazy in my book.

word ver: tilkik

Palladian said...

Ugh, Schumer is intolerable. How were other Democrats like Feingold able to sound so reasonable in their exchanges with Judge Alito yet Schumer sound like such a bastard? He's practically screaming.

This CAP thing is getting so tiresome. Can we talk about law?

Eugene said...

Todd Zywicki at The Volokh Conspiracy points out the creepy similarities in these exchanges:

SENATOR MCCARTHY: Not exactly, Mr. Chairman, but in view of Mr. Welch's request that the information be given once we know of anyone who might be performing any work for the Communist Party, I think we should tell him that he has in his law firm a young man named Fisher whom he recommended, incidentally, to do work on this committee, who has been for a number of years a member of an organization which was named, oh, years and years ago, as the legal bulwark of the Communist Party, an organization which always swings to the defense of anyone who dares to expose Communists.

[snip]

MR. WELCH: Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us . . . . Fred Fisher said, "Mr. Welch, when I was in law school and for a period of months after, I belonged to the Lawyers Guild," as you have suggested, Senator. He went on to say, "I am secretary of the Young Republicans League in Newton with the son of Massachusetts' Governor, and I have the respect and admiration of the 25 lawyers or so in Hale & Dorr."

To draw a more edifying parallel, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed 97-3 by a Republican-controlled Senate, despite her prominent role in the ACLU, an association most Republicans would consider radioactive if attached to their own resumes. Republicans proved themselves far more fair and objective than the 22 Democrats who voted against Roberts (on what grounds, again?) and will most assuredly fulminate equally against Alito.

bearbee said...

Investigative article in the Daily Princetonian

DailyPrincetonian>

Old Dad said...

Madison Man,

Unfortunately, intellect is not a prerequisite for election, even to a national office. In order of importance it takes 1. money, 2. connections 3. a thick skin 4. a modicum of charisma 5. enough sense to come in out of the rain.

That said, you're mostly right, and we're mostly joking. Senator Durbin isn't dumb as a post, although you'd probably not get that impression based on his asinine comments. He's merely mediocre in the brain power department.

Brendan said...

Since when do we need executive sessions and subpoenas to get material from LoC?

Probably because the LOC is not a lending library. To take original materials (not copies) outside of the building, you'll need a subpoena.

Simon said...

Icepick:
"Concerning Alito putting his CAP membership on his resume: Was this a resume for his job in the govenrnment? If so, isn't a potential high-level hire required to list every organization he's ever been a member of?"

You know, that's exactly what I was wondering. It hadn't occurred to me until I was on my way home tonight, and NPR was saying that Alito bragged about it on its application form. And that comment was so transparently partisan that I found it irresistably hilarious, but having thought about it, I realized that I've broken my own cardinal rule and never been to the source. So I really don't know in what context it was mentioned on the application, and it does seem to me that this point from Icepick is a very good one and an important one. We need to see the original application form.

RogerA said...

Kennedy is a drunk, a serial adulterer and probably should have been tried for manslaughter--if this sorry SOB is a paragon of the democratic party, then there is no doubt why the democrats keep losing elections. Kenney is a buffoon who is right up there with Lahey, and the conscience of the senate, Robert, Sheets, the Grand Kleaqle, Byrd--these idiots are bad jokes--and they really reflect on the serial idiots that keep electing them.

Oh--was that intemperate?

Icepick said...

Simon, just to be clear, I don't know that he didn't brag about it. I'm just curious as to the context, and too lazy to look it up.

bearbee said...

It appears a copy of the Alito application has made it way onto the net:

application

Coco said...

"why is all the Senate-directed invective depressing?"

Its depressing to me becuase at least in these Alito-related posts over the past several days it has very often been done without any real substantive points being made otherwise. Instead, they are often attacks on senators' character, past transgressions, and/or intellect that are wholly unsupportive of intelligent discussion or irrelevant to the topic at hand - very Kos/LGF-like and partisan.

Davidwarner said...

To be clear, Alito did not mention CAP in a laundry list format requesting all organizations to which he belonged. The reference came in a personal statement portion in which he was describing his accomplishments. The only other organization he mentioned in that context was the Federalist Society.

Pogo said...

But Coco, that's the point.
The hearing itself is "without any real substantive points" and "are often attacks on [Alito's] character, past transgressions, [but not his]intellect that are wholly unsupportive of intelligent discussion or irrelevant to the topic at hand."

So, yes, it is depressing.

Old Dad said...

Coco,

Give me a break. Fat Teddy is desperate, and deserving of all the ridicule this sight can muster. There is no high principle here to debate. It's a common smear.

I'll stipulate that Judge Alito was, in fact, a member of CAP. T-shirt, the secret handshake, everything. So what? Fat Teddy somehow thinks that makes him a vicious, sexist, homophobe.

Here's a novel idea. Why not ask the people who know him best if he is? You know, the people he's worked with, friends past and present, clerks, attorneys who argued in his court. Ask men and women, liberals and conservatives, ask everyone. Oops, they did that already and came up with nada.

Which is more compelling--direct testimony of real human beings who know the Judge well, or some vague association with a ridiculous alumni group from twenty years ago.

Fat Teddy is certainly slipping in the Borking department. Maybe he'll find a pubic hair somewhere.

Coco said...

"There is no high principle here to debate. It's a common smear."

Old Dad - I'm not debating you - I just find it bizarre that you take issue with Kennedy because he's a partisan hack (which he is) and yet the manner in which you do so makes you look like a partisan hack.

We all get it - Kennedy was in a car accident - a woman died - he's a drinker (all three combined even). Becuase it is a common smear is precisely why its not funny and old and tired and I used to come to this site for reasoned discourse, not partisan smears.

Did I tell you the one about how George Bush isn't very smart - mixes his metaphors and all. He's a real dumbass....all of which proves that he's made a terrible mistake in Iraq, He deserves all of the scorn this site can muster.

(not very convincing is it?)

Pogo: "The hearing itself is "without any real substantive points" and "are often attacks on [Alito's] character, past transgressions, [but not his]intellect that are wholly unsupportive of intelligent discussion or irrelevant to the topic at hand."

Pogo - Touche! - I'm still not very impressed with comments like old dad's - are you?

Joan said...

Coco, it's not a smear to say that Ted Kennedy's actions led to the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. That's a fact.

It is a smear to imply that Alito is a racist, sexist homophobe (or whatever) because he once mentioned CAP on a job application.

The Rusher papers were thoroughly examined by the NYTimes, and have now been made available to the Senate committee as well. Kennedy's call for a subpoena, demanding access to Rusher's private papers, albeit housed at the LoC, was nothing but showboating. He deserves to be excoriated for it.

Old Dad said...

Coco,

You said:

"I just find it bizarre that you take issue with Kennedy because he's a partisan hack (which he is) and yet the manner in which you do so makes you look like a partisan hack."

Precisely what are we to do with partisan hacks who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who are Constitutionally bound to advise and consent to SCOTUS nominations? Sit idly by and let them smear a good man? When the gloves come off they come off. Or in the case of fat Teddy, the pants. Spare me your sanctimony.

And in case you didn't know it, this is a blog. If you want to be impressed go read Shakespeare.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem is that Kennedy's request won't change a single vote. Alito has enough votes for his nomination to be sent to the floor. And that is what matters right now.

Kennedy is trying to stall the nomination in any way he can. That is really all that he can do to keep those who contributed all that money to defeat Roberts and Alito at bay.

It is hard to believe that really new information is appearing this late in the game. And Kennedy is being the ultimate hypocrite, since he has no intention of voting for judge Alito, regardless of the contents of those papers.

Cat said...

Coco - name one thing that Sen Kennedy has done that's POSITIVE. As far as Mary Jo goes, it wasn't a simple car accident. He drove off a bridge, got out of the car, let Kopekne drown and then waited HOURS to call the police or any help. He called daddy and some lawyers first and sobered up. The only reason he didn't do time was his brother's legacy and daddy's money. The man has never been accountable for anything OR answered for any of his behavior which makes it hard to stomach his demands and accusations against others.

What Kennedy did today was pure show and Spector called him on it. "I see you every day," and this is the first time your bringing it up? He has never asked for a reply to his "12/22" letter to Spector. Hooey.

As far as Alito goes, his record stands for itself. 20 years ago (I can't believe I am old enough to say that) I was a LEFTIST who couldn't wait to help the Sandanistas while belonging to this group I joined. I am no where near that person now. Alito was not an ACTIVE member like I was, but I should still not be held accountable for some anti-American "Let's kill Reagan" crap someone might have published (I have no idea, actually). It's BS to make someone responsible for others.

Let's look at HIS RECORD. All of Kennedy's crap about him being a racist ignores all of the ACTUAL CASES he presided over and favored the plaintiff. It's BS and he knows it.

If I were Alito, I would sue Kennedy for character defamation.

Simon said...

"It is hard to believe that really new information is appearing this late in the game. And Kennedy is being the ultimate hypocrite, since he has no intention of voting for judge Alito, regardless of the contents of those papers."

While Sen. Kennedy has no intention of voting for Alito, and while he isn't looking for materials to justify voting for Alito, I think he is looking for the materials to justify not only voting against Alito, but to filibuster him. I actually mentioned at the time of the previous nuclear crisis (see No victory at all for democrats, 5/26/2005) that I thought the Dem leadership were not only trying to avoid a nuclear detonation, but were actively spoiling for it, militating for it. I believe that even more strongly now that we're in an election year: I would not be surprised in the slightest if they really do intend to try to provoke the nuclear option in order to use it as a rallying cry in the midterms, a sort of "go for broke" strategy. But of course, they can only do that (successfully, at least) if they can demonize the nominee beyond the pale, which is precisely what Senator Kennedy is looking for, something to justify the filibuster, something simple and direct that he can take onto meet the press and tell America that this isn't about politics, it's about proteting them from that terrible, terrible man.

sonicfrog said...

Life Immitates Cartoons

Robert said...

We are not considering Clinton nominees, or what mistakes or missteps Republicans may have made in regards to them.

As usual, Pablum is quick to agenda-set for the rest of us…preclude analogies and all. Fact is, senators are not required to justify their vote, up or down. Most Republicans will vote for, and most Democrats against. Then, when the act comes to fruition, all will know who to blame.

Robert said...

Flagellum Dei said...
Sorry to spoil the love-fest!

Yeah, lay-off with the coitus interruptus!

XWL said...

I referenced this in an update to my own post on the subject, but let me summarize here.

Sen. Kennedy mentioned he chaired this same committee when Judge Alito became Judge Alito 15 years ago (when rambling about the Vanguard stuff). That means that the Reagan era job applications were available and fodder for discussion back then. Either he was incompetent, or knew these charges were meaningless.

(OK, the third, and likely, choice is that Sen. Kennedy was/is incompetent, and knew that these charges are meaningless as to Judge Alito's ability to be a capable jurist)

Charlie (Colorado) said...

Can anyone explain to me how there is any probitive value in the private papers of a man who Alito didn't apparently know, on the basis that Alito subscribed to the magazine for whch that man wrote some things which we currently find unreasonable?

Aspasia M. said...

We don't know if anything at all is interesting in those four boxes of documents. In fact, I thought a reporter from the NY Times already looked through those records and didn't find anything interesting about Alito.

I do find it odd that people think that "private" papers would be donated to the Library of Congress. Donors usually donate their papers to libraries as a public service.