With the hearings over, and the Democrats showing no backbone for filibustering, it appears that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. will be appointed to the Supreme Court. This is very alarming. Judge Alito will sit on a court that will make decision affecting our reproductive rights, on who can and cannot spy on us, on congress’s ability to legislate, on the expanding presidential powers, and issues as basic as who may live and who may die. While his written record on these issues is troubling, of greater concern is the basic character of this man being appointed to the Supreme Court.
In 1985, Alito listed his membership in the group known as The Concerned Alumni of Princeton on his resume when applying for the appointment as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. The Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) was a group that opposed the increased enrolment of women and minorities at Princeton. A review of the group’s papers showed that Alito was not an active member or donor to the group. Yet 13 years later, he was listing membership in the group on his resume. Alito stated during the hearings that, “I would never be a member of an organization that took those positions.” So what are we to make of Alito listing CAP on his resume? Are we to believe that a man who could site legal cases off the top of his head throughout the hearing, is the kind of man who would not have done his homework? Would not have been prepared to answer questions about the group he listed on his resume? But if we are to take Alito at his word, this is what we have to believe. That he is the kind of man who would list on his resume, membership in a group he actually had no real involvement with and did not know what they believed in. More than likely, as pointed out by Jerome Karabel in his blog entry (Huffington Post 1/14/06), Samuel Alito, “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.” It worked; he got the job.
None of the choices is particularly good here. Either Alito is a liar, or he doesn’t do his homework, or he does share the values of CAP, or he will compromise his values to say what ever it takes to get the job. Are any of these the characteristics of someone you would want sitting in judgment on the highest court of this land. This is lifetime appointment. We will be living with Alito’s influence on the court for the next thirty years. What will our constitutional rights look like after thirty years of his influence?
This is the kind of man the Democrats should use the filabuster for.