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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Recusal for Kennedy?

Since I've been beating on the Washington Post about it's editorial content this week, might as well do it again today.

Monday Samuel Alito begins the confirmation process to become a Supreme Court Justice. One issue that has been raised about him is a failure to recuse himself from a case involving Vanguard funds, whom he has investments with. That may be a good point, and one the Judiciary Committee should look at.

I bring this up, because a member of that committee has an opinion piece in the Washington Post today, basically laying out before the hearings, why he's voting against Alito. That Senator would be Ted Kennedy. If having a predisposed mind towards something is why one should recuse themselves, as Mr. Kennedy alludes to with Vanguard, then shouldn't this Op/Ed piece be cause enough for him to recuse himself from the hearings?

We've gotten a lot of bloviating from both sides of the aisle over the last 10 years on the way Judges should act, resulting in some gridlock in the nomination process from both the GOP during Clinton's terms, and the Democrats over the last five years.

But how should those judging the judges be acting? Mr Kennedy says in his opinion piece that Judge Alito hasn't left his personal feelings behind in issues:

5. His promise to leave his personal beliefs behind when he became a judge: That's what he told me in 1990 he would do. But has he? In November 2000, at one of many Federalist Society meetings he spoke at, he indicated that he was a true believer when it came to the society's longstanding theory of an all-powerful executive. His endorsement of presidential power and his criticism of the Supreme Court for undermining it made clear that his philosophical commitment in 1985 still drives him.
Yet it's obvious that a man who sits in judgment of Mr. Alito going to the Supreme court is guilty of the exact same thing. Probably worse, as Judge Alito is expressing what many of us feel is judicial philosophy above, not personal belief. Of course those of us who believe that believe that the Founding Fathers of the country thought of the judiciary as the counterbalance to the Executive and Congress, not a policy and law making equal to them.

As important as it is for the Judges we put on the bench to not be agenda driven, isn't it just as important that those who confirm them do so with open minds? Evidently not, according to Senator Kennedy.

Below The Beltway has a very good analysis of the whole editorial.

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Blogger shoprat said...

A man who at the very least is guilty of manslaughter at Chappaquiddick has absolutely no business questioning the qualifications of a judge. It is the judge who should be getting the explanations for Mary Jo Kopeckne's death from Kennedy.

10:44 AM  
Blogger LargeBill said...

Agree with Shoprat that Kennedy has bo business questioing aanyones credibility. But beyond that, how did we reach the point where a judge must reject his own personal belief system? Is rejecting any belief system how Kennedy is able to pretend to be Catholic while being vociferously pro-abortion?

12:02 PM  
Blogger asacan said...

Well, you can probably count on him recusing himself just about as much as you can count on him jumping back into a river to save a young woman's life. Ain't gonna happen, but good points, never-the-less.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

01 07 06

EXCELLENT ANALYSIS CP! I like the way you point out Judge Alito's judicial philosophy and the contradictory standards that Mr.Kennedy applies. It is outright tacky to publically state ones vote on an issue, especially if the vote takes great care, is based (ostensibly) on evidence and is viewed by the public. I think it is highly irresponsible on the part of Mr. Kennedy. I also recall Alito swearing that he understood the courts had a "limited role" in our system of governance. The leftists always want to say that is inherently wrong and that all branches are equal, but your last paragraph draws the distinction and gives teeth to the statement. Ultimately, the job of the judiciary is to INTERPRET the law and hold it to the standards of the Constitution. You are right on! Have a good weekend!

6:55 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I don't even look at Chappaquiddick as part of this issue, though it definitely plays into his entire character, along with his votes that are completely at odds with his religions beliefs.
THough in fairness, on the religion issue, I know very few catholics (from a large family of them) who obey all of the church dictates.

I just didn't like his thought that Alito has prejudged things, so shouldn't be involved with them, and at the same time has prejudged Alito.

That's pretty much the standard for politicians these days though.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Kennedy is such a joke. He is an old man who thinks he's important and he gets up and blathers on. I put him and Senator Byrd in the same category. Who cares what they have to say? No one. Their opinions carry no weight anymore. It cracks me up that Kennedy thinks he still has some validity. I would like one democrat to come forward and say they have respect for Kennedy and that he represents them in the democrat party.

9:45 PM  
Blogger jgf said...

Kennedy will step down when it gets really cold down south.

12:07 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

jgf, LMC You guys are right on about him. Unlike most people, Teddy can't see he's become a caricature of himself.

The only reason folks in his own party don't openly laugh at him, or tell him he's become a buffoon is his name. They think if they say something bad about Ted they could be seen as saying something bad about John or Bobby.

6:36 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I used to date a girl from Mass. and I asked her father why they kept sending Kennedy to Washington(this was in '88) and he gave a good answer. He said "My daughters are safer when he's hundreds of miles away." It's probably not the real reason but I like it.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

SR - LOL! Knowing the families history with women, I'd say it may well be the reason.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

shoprat: That is awesome!!!!

7:20 PM  

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