A concerned alumna of Princeton on Alito

Is the Supreme Court nominee lying, or is his memory really just that shot?

Published January 11, 2006 6:16PM (EST)

I think Samuel Alito was lying when he said yesterday that he couldn't recall being a member of Concerned Alumni of Princeton. He was an undergraduate at the university from 1968 to 1972. I entered Princeton in 1971, and as a member of the third class of women to attend Princeton, I remember the group quite well.

Coeducation began at Princeton shortly after Alito started there, and the debate beforehand was quite heated, with CAP at the center of the opposition to admitting women. According to another classmate at the time, CAP "supported a permanent quota that would keep the female student population at only 1,000 out of a total of 4,400." How could someone who entered the university when it was all male forget such a controversy?

I was undoubtedly among those "very smart people and very privileged people behaving irresponsibly" whom Alito says he saw at college, so I'm kind of glad I never knowingly ran into him. But now I'm worried that he's being irresponsible -- or worse -- by lying to the American people about this and other issues. And even if he's not lying about CAP, if his memory's really that bad, do we still really want him on the Supreme Court?

By Michal Keeley

Michal Keeley is a copy editor for Salon.

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