I wondered how long after the President’s announcement of Judge John Roberts’ nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy for the
knee-jerk, Hate Everything About Bush crowd liberal Democrat politicians to trash the nominee. It didn’t take long at all.
Predictably, one of the first out of the chute was Ted Kennedy, the Senior Senator of Massachusetts. Within an hour or two after the Presidentâ€™s announcement, Senator Kennedy issued a press release questioning â€œwhether â€˜Mr. Robertsâ€™ is fit to serve on the highest court in the land.â€
I have absolutely no doubt that the press release was drafted and thoroughly vetted at several levels well before the President made his announcement, leaving blanks to be filled in once the name and sex of the nominee were certain.
Here is the Press Release as it probably looked just before the Presidentâ€™s announcement:
July 19, 2005
STATEMENT BY SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY ON NOMINATION OF _____ ________ TO U.S. SUPREME COURT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Laura Capps/Melissa Wagoner (202) 224-2633
This is a critical moment for this countryÂ¹s future. If _____ _______ is confirmed, [he/she] will have a vital role in setting the direction of the country for generations to come.
The Supreme Court is often the last line of defense for the freedoms and liberties for hundreds of millions of Americans. Few responsibilities of the Senate are more important than reviewing the qualifications of nominees for the Supreme Court. Every Senator, Republican or Democrats [sic], has a responsibility to determine whether ____ ________ deserves to join the currently closely divided court when so much is at stake. ItÂ¹s wrong for any Senator to be a rubberstamp.
All of us in the Senate who have been through this process know the importance of this process. Every American ought to be asking some tough questions right now about whether ____ ________ is fit to serve on the highest court in the land.
Will [he/she] protect average Americans when their rights are abused by powerful corporations?
Will [he/she] ensure that private companies arenÂ¹t allowed to pollute our rivers and lakes and our air?
Will [he/she] protect and preserve the progress weÂ¹ve made on equal opportunity and fairness for all Americans?
Will [he/she] separate his personal ideology from the rule of law and protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans, not just the powerful or the wealthy.
Justice OÂ¹Connor set a high standard. She tried to bring the nation together, and she respected the Constitution. She was a mainstream conservative who used her ability and respect for the rule of law to find solutions that would strengthen us as a nation, as the Constitution intended.
____ ________ must demonstrate that [he/she] meets that standard before the American people, and [he/she] will have an opportunity to do so before the Senate Judiciary Committee before the coming weeks.
No nominee, especially a nominee who is well known to have argued ideological positions on issues important to the American people, should be confirmed without full and candid disclosure and discussion of those positions and their importance to [him/her].
I welcome the opportunity to question ____ _______, and believe that the American people will know at the end of this process whether [he/she] should advance to the Supreme Court.
We have a responsibility to the Constitution and to the American people and their children and grandchildren to get this right.
I feel safe in hazarding a guess that at the time Judge Robertsâ€™ name was placed in the blank spaces, Mr. Kennedy didnâ€™t know a damned thing about Judge Roberts.
What truly amazes me is that Ted Kennedy has the unmitigated moxie to question anyone’s “fitness to serve” in any important government position.
h/t Cadillac Tight