Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Kennedy Round 2


Kennedy returns to Vanguard! His silly focus on this trivial issue starkly shows that the Dems have no ammunition. Kennedy somehow doesn’t understand Alito’s clear explanation. Silly badgering about length of “initial service” (term in Senate questionnaire), even though Alito has made clear that his recusal decisions did not turn on this phrase.

Now on to Concerned Alumni of Princeton! Turns to CAP magazine, called Prospect, and tries to tie Alito to some article someone else wrote at a time that Alito evidently wasn’t a member. Asks whether Alito read article. Alito says that he can’t imagine he did. Kennedy asks about another article. Same. Kennedy asks whether Alito was aware back then of Bill Bradley’s resignation from CAP in early 1970s. No. And so on. Alito explains that the Princeton that some in CAP said used to be was a Princeton that wouldn’t have had him and that he wouldn’t have identified with. Reiterates concern over ROTC and military.

Kennedy says that ROTC was a dead issue by 1985. Evidently he wasn’t listening to Alito’s exchange with Durbin. Alito recalls aspects of ROTC as continuing source of controversy.

Kennedy: Explanations about radical group are extremely troubling. Tries to raise issue over access to William Rusher’s papers at Library of Congress. Wants vote on subpoena. What a ridiculous diversionary tactic.

Exchange between Specter and Kennedy gets testy. Specter says he never received previous letter from Kennedy. Good job, Teddy, entrenching Specter’s already strong support for Alito!

Specter: I’m not concerned about your threats. (Good to have someone stand up to Kennedy’s bullying.)


Subscribe to National Review