Another Constitutional Moment?
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jan 19 08:27:32 PST 2001
We may have had another constitutional moment (indeed,
perhaps a constitutional month) in yesterday's
Senator Ted Kennedy made the following statement to
Judge Ronnie White: "What happened to you is the
ugliest thing that's happened to any nominee in all my
years in the United States Senate. Your record in the
Missouri Supreme Court was grossly distorted by
Senator Ashcroft." This statement was not made under
oath, but if Senator Kennedy is sincere, this may
signal a remarkable change in the confirmation
Remember this is the very same Senator Kennedy who was
responsible for what I think is the ugliest thing that
ever was done to a judicial nominee in the Senate, the
depraved "Robert Bork's America" speech he gave
distorting the record of Bob Bork. There is a reason
"to bork" has become a verb (I predict "to ronnie
white" will not become a verb) that means to take out
a nominee by any means necessary.
If Senator Kennedy is sincere, then we may be on the
verge of a new era of judicial confirmation in the
Senate, one in which it is considered out of order for
Senators (or witnesses testifying in hearings) to
distort the record of judicial nominees they oppose.
No more statements about a thoughtful judge or scholar
like Bork being "outside the mainstream." No more
attempts to suggest that someone is racist or sexist
merely because they took a position on affirmative
action or Title VII contrary to the views of the
Reverend Jackson or the National Organization of
When Senators vote against someone like Bork, they
will admit that his views are reasonable and
thoughtful, and say "I'm voting against him merely
because his thoughtful views support results that
differ from those desired by the special interest
groups who support me."
This is indeed significant, *if Senator Kennedy was
not merely posturing to please the special interest
groups who pull his strings.*
daughters and kitten
(haiku, rfd, 12/00)
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