Alito Hearings – Keeping Memberships in Perspective

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With all the media hoopla regarding the reaction of Samuel Alito’s wife to Ted Kennedy’s “Hail Mary” pass involving guilt by association with the now infamous CAP membership, shouldn’t the key question be …

“What have you done for (or against) me lately?”

Case in point

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) read aloud the comments of 1975 Princeton graduate Diane Weeks, who had worked for Alito when he was U.S. attorney in New Jersey.

“When I saw Concerned Alumni of Princeton on that 1985 job application, I was flabbergasted,” Durbin quoted Weeks as saying in the Nation magazine. “I was totally stunned. I couldn’t believe it. CAP made it clear to women like me we were not wanted on campus. And he is touting his membership in this group in 1985, 13 years after he graduated? He’s not a young man at this point. . . . I’m very troubled by this and if I were in the Senate, I would want some answers.”

Yes, answers should be, and are being, sought during this hearing process.

Let’s not lose sight though of the need to evaluate the lately

Alito responded that Weeks was “one of many women whom I hired when I was U.S. attorney. And I think that illustrates my attitude toward equality for women.”

In an interview yesterday, Weeks said: “The reason I’m flabbergasted is that from my personal experience with Sam, he does not discriminate against women, minorities or anyone else. He is a merit-based thinker. That’s who he is. I cannot understand for the life of me why he would have even associated himself with Concerned Alumni of Princeton.”

Flabbergasted, it would more likely appear, because the manner in which the CAP membership has been presented by Kennedy & Kompany would illustrate a contradiction to Alito’s actions, during his judicial tenure, which appeared to have (by Weeks and other’s personal testimony) shown respect for women and minorities.

What really flabbergasted me from the day’s proceedings is the pronouncement from Sen. Specter of one of Edward Kennedy’s membership — gym, that is.

The great postal debate proved moot after lunch, when Specter announced that the custodian of the Princeton papers would turn them over without a subpoena. He scolded Kennedy for starting a “tussle.” “Senator Kennedy and I frequent the gym at the same time and talk all the time, and he never mentioned it to me,” he said.

Kennedy was no longer the lion: “I regret I haven’t been down in the gym since before Christmas,” he explained. “So I missed you.”

Now that’s news : )

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