November 27, 2005

Alito: a Reviewer in Spirit?

A NYT article from today's paper gives a very intriguing look into Sam Alito's ties to a radically conservative alumni activist group--the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. The article lays bare the ridiculous extremism of their radically conservative positions--e.g. they opposed the institution of more inclusive residential college-based eating halls because the plan put forward was "intended to create racial harmony"--and questions what this means for Alito's nomination and what it reveals about his politics (and, I would like to ask, what it means about his character).

I don't really think this "revelation" tells us anything that we didn't already know about Alito--he's a conservative, and not of a moderate vintage.

My mind was made up anyway when I learned that he went back on his promise (multiple times) to recuse himself on cases wherein he had a conflict of interest. All the arguments for the man depend on his ability to suspend his own political leanings enough to deliver a judgment that is unbiased and intellectually honest. The man's not even honest even when testifying before the Senate, how can he be counted on to be truly impartial and not blinded by his obviously extremist sympathies?

But what really interests me about this NYT article is that it really begs the question--does the Concerned Alumni of Princeton sound very different from Dartmouth's own conservative discontents/malcontents? Perhaps the Princeton cabal are a bit more vociferous, but the charges they made against Princeton are not very different from the charges I've heard levelled against the Dartmouth administration. In addition, Review alums Dinesh D'Souza and Laura Ingraham, the article says, actually became the editors of the group's magazine--Prospect.

Kinda makes you wonder (anachronistically?), if Alito had gone to Dartmouth, would he have been a Reviewer?


  1. I linked to this post from my blog at

    -- Deborah White
    US Liberals at, a New York Times Company