Man Without Qualities

Sunday, January 08, 2006

And Now, Senate Democrats Move To Plan "B"

Press release from the office of Senator Leahy:

WASHINGTON (Thursday, Jan. 5) Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday announced their witness list for the upcoming hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito. ... Below is a list of Democratic witnesses confirmed to date, consisting of distinguished constitutional and legal scholars, national leaders and courageous Americans who represent many of the vital issues facing the nation today including: ....

Stephen R. Dujack Stephen R. Dujack is the editor of an environmental magazine in Washington and a freelance writer. Mr. Dujack has appeared many times as a guest columnist in publications throughout the country. Some of his recent writings have covered Judge Samuel Alito's membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP). Formed in 1972, CAP has been publicly criticized for its policies opposing Princeton's decision to admit women and minorities. When applying for a job in the Reagan/Meese Justice Department in 1985, Judge Alito touted his membership in the conservative group. CAP's positions and tactics were criticized in the years following its founding by other alumni, including former Senator Bill Bradley and Senator Bill Frist, who is now the Republican Majority Leader. Mr. Dujack, a 1976 graduate of Princeton, first wrote about CAP for the Princeton Alumni Weekly in the 1980s and then again in 2005.

From the New York Times, January 7, 2006:
Also on Friday, Democrats canceled one of their witnesses, Stephen R. Dujack, a journalist who has criticized a conservative Princeton alumni group to which Judge Alito once belonged. The cancellation came after members of the staff of Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, distributed a Dujack column that compared eating meat to the Holocaust.
Because Mr. Dujack doesn't seem to fit in any of the other categories of selected witnesses the Senator's office provides, one must assume that Mr. Dujack was originally chosen because Senate Democrats deemed him to be a "courageous Americans who represent many of the vital issues facing the nation today." Apparently, there are still a few bugs in the Senate Democrats' witness vetting system. The equivalence Mr. Dujack asserts between farm animals and Holocaust victims is outrageous and creepy: "Comparisons to the Holocaust are not only appropriate but inescapable because, whether we wish to admit it or not, cows, chickens, pigs and turkeys are as capable of feeling loneliness, fear, pain, joy and affection as we are. To those who defend the modern-day holocaust on animals by saying that animals are slaughtered for food and give us sustenance, I ask: If the victims of the Holocaust had been eaten, would that have justified the abuse and murder? ... No. Pain is pain." But, in addition, obvious considerations of moral consistency suggests that Mr. Dujack might well share the views of the some of the country's most emphatic pro-life activists that equate the results of Roe v. Wade with the Holocaust. After all, in Mr. Dujack's calculus, shouldn't human fetuses - even if they are not "people" - have as at least as much claim to life and freedom from pain as, say, ducks and chickens? In Mr. Dujack's words: Pain is pain. Would that question have come up at the Senate hearings? Doesn't Senator Leahy want Mr. Dujack's courageous views on this topic aired? What a shame that we'll never know. Perhaps the Republicans should call Mr. Dujack and ask him about his courageous views.

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