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Sen. Kennedy's op-ed on Roberts and Alito

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-29-06 09:20 PM
Original message
Sen. Kennedy's op-ed on Roberts and Alito
SUPREME COURT CONFIRMATIONSRoberts and Alito Misled UsBy Edward M. Kennedy
Sunday, July 30, 2006; Page B01

I have had the honor of serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 43 years, during which I've participated in confirmation hearings for all the justices who now sit on the Supreme Court. Over that time, my colleagues and I have asked probing questions and listened attentively to substantive responses. Because we were able to learn a great deal about the nominees from those hearings, the Senate has rarely voted along party lines. I voted, for example, for three of President Ronald Reagan's five Supreme Court nominees.

Of course, an examination of a nominee's views may cause the Senate to withhold its consent. That is what happened in 1795 to John Rutledge, who was given a temporary commission as chief justice by President George Washington (while Congress was in recess) and was then rejected by the Senate several months later. In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon's nomination of G. Harrold Carswell was derailed when the Senate learned of his segregationist past. At that time, I explained that "the Constitution makes clear that we are not supposed to be a rubber stamp for White House selections." That was also the Senate's view in 1987, when its rejection of Robert H. Bork's extreme views led to the unanimous confirmation of the more moderate Anthony M. Kennedy. The Senate's constitutional role has helped keep the court in the mainstream of legal thought.

But the careful, bipartisan process of years past -- like so many checks and balances rooted in our Constitution -- has been badly broken by the current Bush administration. The result has been the confirmation of two justices, John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr., whose voting record on the court 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.

Now that the votes are in from their first term, we can see plainly the agenda that Roberts and Alito sought to conceal from the committee. Our new justices consistently voted to erode civil liberties, decrease the rights of minorities and limit environmental protections. At the same time, they voted to expand the power of the president, reduce restrictions on abusive police tactics and approve federal intrusion into issues traditionally governed by state law.

more...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...


Sigh!

Certainly learning some hard lessons:

By most benchmarks, as one well-briefed Western analyst in Baghdad tells me, Iraq slipped into civil war "a long time ago."


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Sigh, again!
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-29-06 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. The filibuster was the right thing to do
And those Dems who voted for cloture should be held accountable for it. It is beyond shameful that NARAL endorsed Joe Lieberman for re-election in Connecticut because Holy Joe, 'voted against Alito.' Yeah, he voted against Alito but only when the vote was meaningless. The real vote and the real mark of courage would have been to join Senators Kennedy & Kerry in their filibuster.

Dems who voted FOR Cloture:

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)

Dems who voted for Alito in the 'upper down' vote:
Byrd (D-WV)
Johnson (D-SD)
Nelson (D-NE)

We had 42 votes against Alito. It's just that not all Senators are as courageous as Sens. Kennedy & Kerry. Mores the pity.

Sigh! They were warned. And they didn't listen.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-29-06 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You are correct on all accounts. n/t
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