Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hagel & Nelson Comment on Roberts

by Kyle Michaelis
Updating that previous post, Senators Hagel and Nelson have both weighed in with their reactions to Bush's choice of John G. Roberts to join the U.S. Supreme Court. As one would expect from their ideological demeanors, Hagel seemed unthinkingly delighted about the pick with Nelson cautiously optimistic. Glad one of the two takes the confirmation process seriously enough to at least want the facts before handing out a lifetime appointment.

But, we'll let the men speak for themselves, as reported by the LJS:
Sen. Ben Nelson said he was looking forward to a constructive confirmation debate in the Senate. Sen. Chuck Hagel went further, calling the nomination a "wise choice"...

Nelson said the confirmation process will shed light on what kind of Justice Roberts might become.

"There's always a danger in being defined as an activist judge with an agenda and a willingness to legislate from the bench," Nelson said. "The best case scenario for Judge Roberts, the President and the country is for Judge Roberts to emerge from these proceedings with broad appeal."

Hagel said, "(Roberts) should receive widespread support in the Senate following his confirmation hearings."

Again Nelson indulges voters with easy talk about "activist judges" that simply makes little sense under scrutiny. But he can't really be blamed for this throw-away soundbyte's replacement of logic in the public imagination. At least he understands the task at hand and seems willing to ask questions of the nominee, even if they are grounded in misguided rhetoric. Sure beats Hagel's rubber stamp.

I would like to draw readers' attention to an even more troubling element in the article above that has nothing to do with Hagel's irresponsible posturing. Rather, this is about the reporter, Josh Swartzlander's, irresponsible reporting that contributes to the dishonesty at the heart of so many of the far Right's attacks on the Supreme Court. At one point, Swartzlander unhesistatingly cites former Chief Justice Earl Warren as "President Dwight D. Eisenhower's infamous pick."

What, might I ask the reporter and his editors at the Journal-Star, is so deserving of infamy in breaking with 200 years of consitutional hypocrisy that allowed the scourge of racism to thrive? What, pray tell, demands Warren's name being dragged in the mud for asserting that even the poor have the right to defense in a court of law?

Shame on the entire Journal-Star for allowing this morally indefensible attack to weasel its way onto its news page. Language is power and using the language of those who would set-back this country 50 or even 100 years wtihout criticism or perspective is an unforgiveable abuse of the responsibility of a free press.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think the reporter was just too dumb to know the definition of infamous, rather than making a biased statement. Of course, either way, it is a ridiculous adjective.


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