Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Harvard-educated Ted Kennedy on the attack

Ted Kennedy makes a rather remarkable charge in this past Sunday’s Washington Post, namely that Roberts and Alito Misled Us. Since the Senator didn’t vote for either Justice, I was kind of forewarned that his use of “us” was probably just false modesty. True to form, Mr. Kennedy regales us with his wisdom on this matter.

The gist of the Senator’s piece is that the most recent nominees have produced a “…voting record on the court [that] reflects not the neutral, modest judicial philosophy they promised the Judiciary Committee, but an activist's embrace of the administration's political and ideological agenda.” Here’s an example of what alarms him about Justice Roberts:

“In League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry , the Supreme Court held that Texas's 2003 redistricting plan violated the Voting Rights Act by protecting a Republican legislator against a growing Latino population. Roberts reached a different view, concluding that the courts should not have been involved and that it "is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race."

Never mind that the Supreme Court actually upheld most of Texas’s 2003 redistricting plan ( - High court upholds most of Texas redistricting map - Jun 28, 2006), is the senior senator from Massachusetts so out of touch that he really expect most of us to be outraged that a Supreme Court Justice has referred to legislative attempts at racial groupings as “a sordid business”? He’s spent too much time basking in far-left adulation if he believes that that’s a surefire applause line.

But he saves his best ammunition for use against Justice Alito:

“Perhaps the biggest winner is the president himself. During Alito's hearing, I asked him about a 1985 job application in which he stated that he believed "very strongly in the supremacy of the elected branches of government." He backpedaled, claiming: "I certainly didn't mean that literally at the time, and I wouldn't say that today."

“But he is willing to say it now. In the very recent case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld , Alito signed on to a dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas that asserts a judicial "duty to accept the Executive's judgment in matters of military operations and foreign affairs" as grounds for allowing the administration to use military commissions of its own design to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

Wow – that’s powerful stuff…well, except for this.

CORRECTION TO THIS ARTICLEA July 30 Outlook article by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) incorrectly used the word "accept" rather than "respect" in quoting from a dissenting opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and joined by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The opinion referred to the court's "well-established duty to respect the Executive's judgment in matters of military operations and foreign affairs."

So now we have Senator Kennedy taking to the print media to criticize the Chief Justice for thinking it’s unattractive to go about classifying people based on their race and Justice Alito for signing onto an opinion which states the President’s judgment should be respected in military and foreign policy matters. Time to go to the neutral corner, Senator – it’s going to take awhile for the Administration and these two justices to overcome those body blows.

Side Note: Remember all this? Nomination Watch: O’Connor and Ginsburg on threats to judicial independence. I’ll be eagerly scanning the wires for their similar criticisms of Senator Kennedy.

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