Carol Platt Liebau: The New Attack on Alito

Friday, November 18, 2005

The New Attack on Alito

The same Daily Princetonian reporter that was responsible for the Walter Murphy debacle now reports that Sam Alito was, at one time, a member of Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) (thanks to Andrew for the tip). GASP!

Here's the piece. And here's how it tries to characterize CAP:

Interviews with several alumni who were students in the 1970s paint a picture of Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP) as a far-right organization funded by conservative alumni committed to turning back the clock on coeducation at the University.

Give me a break. I was at Princeton from 1985 until 1989, and I never heard anything about anyone trying to "turn back the clock on coeducation." If CAP had any bearing on coeducational policy at all, it was with regard to whether single-sex eating clubs (private institutions catering to Princeton students) should be forced to admit women. Whatever one's views on that, there was a good legal argument to be made for freedom of association (and that case was made in a well-written note in Volume 104 of The Harvard Law Review). (Note also that the "Sally Franks" who's quoted in the piece was the feminist activist who sued the all-male eating clubs; asking her about CAP would be like asking the Pope for his comments on NARAL).

As for the Prospect magazine that's referenced with bated breath in the piece, it was run (at least during 1985, before it was defunct) by Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza, I believe.

In short, members of CAP included people like Terry Eastland, publisher of The Weekly Standard and Fox legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano. Note to my young friends at the Prince: In the real world, we call them "mainstream conservatives."

To the extent its members are caricatured as being scary right wing weirdos -- well, more than anything, maybe that tells you about the monolithic liberal mindsets of those doing the accusing.


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