- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It was a stunt, and it failed in ways that prove how Senate Democrats have tossed reason out the window when it comes to Judge Samuel Alito. When the facts don’t support you, get dramatic.

Around noon yesterday, during what were until then smooth and uneventful hearings, an angry Sen. Ted Kennedy demanded that 30-year-old documents about the now-defunct Concerned Alumni of Princeton, or CAP, be entered in the record. Would Republicans try to keep the documents from view? Would the documents reveal damning facts about Judge Alito? On both accounts, the answer was no.

After lunch, Sen. Arlen Specter, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, sent aides to retrieve the documents — the private papers of longtime National Review publisher and onetime Concerned Alumni of Princeton leader William Rusher — which are housed in the Library of Congress. The documents — internal correspondence, magazines, minutes of meetings and other items — would show whether Judge Alito was an active member of a group which, over the years, counted among its members at least a few people who made racist or sexist statements in CAP’s publication, Prospect.

The answer was no. Seven weeks ago, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick found that the documents contain little or nothing about Judge Alito. The judge was not “among the group’s major donors,” Mr. Kirkpatrick found. “He was not an active leader of the group, and two of his classmates who were involved and Mr. Rusher said they did not remember his playing a role.” Another member appeared on Fox News to confirm that. To judge by Mr. Kennedy’s fiery accusations, though, he is bargaining that most viewers haven’t read the article.

Why even talk about all this? The only explanations are that Senate Democrats are utterly bereft of anything else to raise — any issue of substance — and their far-left financiers are so intent on torpedoing Judge Alito’s nomination that they sent an ultimatum to Mr. Kennedy and others: Derail this nominee, or else.

The partisan drama cannot detract from the facts. Judge Alito gave another day of calm and reasoned testimony in spite of the fireworks, just as he did on Monday and Tuesday. He appears ever more qualified for the bench. Not that that matters to Senate Democrats. If Mr. Kennedy’s stunt is any indication, the Democrats’ grounds on which to filibuster — and to provoke the nuclear option in return — are dropping lower and lower.

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