Leading Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee have connected Judge Alito with an organization that existed at Princeton, Judge Alito’s alma mater, called the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, or CAP. Alito joined the group in 1972, following his graduation. By 1986, the group disbanded. Shortly thereafter, Alito mentioned that he was a member of the group on a job application for a position with the Reagan administration. Because of Alito’s connection to CAP, Democrats investigated the organization and now claim that it was a breeding ground for hate and contempt. They call the members bigots for opposing the inclusion of women and minorities within the wrought iron gates of Princeton.
Judge Alito claimed that his connection with the organization was marginal and inactive, at best. When Senator Leahy (D-VT) questioned him on this issue he answered that his involvement with CAP dealt only with issues regarding the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Alito was a former member of the ROTC and was disturbed when the group was asked to leave the campus. The ROTC was permitted back on campus, but the Navy and Air Force units were not allowed to return immediately. The Princetonian explained that “a review of the documents in University archives and interviews with alumni suggests that keeping ROTC at Princeton was indeed a priority for CAP when it was founded in 1972.”
The Daily Princetonian, Princeton’s school newspaper, pursued this issue and was able to reach one former member, previously a New Jersey Superior Court Judge, Andrew Napolitano. He stated the group was “absolutely no way” against allowing women and minorities into the school. He claims that the real purpose of the organization was to put a stop to the University’s “anti-traditional leftist urges.”
Terry Eastland, a former editor for the Prospect, the controversial magazine published by the organization, wrote in an article for The Weekly Standard that “the magazine’s purpose, was to report and comment on developments at Princeton. The hope was that the administration would moderate its course.” He noted that articles published included those dealing with the decline in the athletic program and controversial tenure decisions. In addition, topics that people submitted as letters to the paper included, “…the future of the ROTC on campus, the disproportionately liberal faculty, the use of race admissions, and the demise of in loco parentis.” Moreover, he made it clear that one of the objectives of the magazine was to, “endorse a student body of ‘young men and women’ who would become leaders in the academy, business, government, and the military.” The magazine included a disclaimer stating that, “the appearance of an article in Prospect does not necessarily represent an endorsement of the author’s beliefs by the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. CAP has never taken a formal stand on coeducation, at Princeton or elsewhere.” (Ed., “Letters To The Editor,” Prospect, Spring-Summer 1980)
William Rusher, a former publisher of the National Review and a board member of CAP, was asked by one National Review editor whether the organization was racist, sexist or anti-gay. He responded, “CAP was none of the things Senator Kennedy is smearing it as being: anti-black, etc. Since Alito apparently had next to no involvement with CAP, Kennedy is trying to give CAP the worst possible reputation, in the hope that some of that will rub off on Judge Alito.”
Rosemarie Capozzi is an intern at Accuracy in Academia.