Supreme Court Justices take responsibility and
must be accountable; this applies to you too, Judge Alito

It's very simple to me. Memory. Recall. Supreme Court justices are expected to have sharp minds that are agile, they must be articulate and introspective and can always speak to their opinions, whether they are welcomed or repudiated by the public and press. Perhaps Alito needs to take some gingko biloba or reach deep into his mind and extract those suppressed memories in order to face the Senate committee with confidence and honesty.

"Well, Senator, I have wracked my memory about this issue, and I really have no specific recollection of that organization." (NYT transcript, Day 2)

This was Alito's response to Senator Leahy's question regarding his association with Princeton's CAP group.

I just don't buy it. I can't help but think of the Iran/Contra situation, Clinton and Lewinsky, and Abu Ghraib. All parties implicated in the forementioned situations denied accountability until the media ate away the bullshit and revealed (while simultaneously forcing) the guilty party to take responsibility or find a willing group of scapegoats. One can't help but visualize the memorable Tootsie Pop commercial with the owl gleefully licking the lollipop until he reaches the Tootsie candy center.

One thing Alito did pull off, was providing answers that veered from the original question. Again, regarding the CAP question, Alito stated that he didn't recall his association with CAP and then launched right into his recollection about the expulsion of Princeton's ROTC unit. His thoughts about this situation were relevant only because he was both involved with and believed in ROTC. Of course, these details had nothing to do with the specific question asked by Senator Leahy. Misdirection and avoidance, though politically shrewd, are not characteristics of a Supreme Court justice. No one has made perfect decisions or calculations in the game of life, but there are plenty of us who are willing to own up to our faults or mis judgments.


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