Bench Memos

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Pathetic Menendez


Not to be outdone by the senior Senator from Judge Alito’s home state of New Jersey, junior Senator Bob Menendez has now taken the floor. The incongruence of his two-faced statement — attempting simultaneously to pander to his home state and to the liberal Left that controls Democrat campaign purse strings — is stunning.

Menendez says he “takes pride in the honor that’s been bestowed on a fellow New Jerseyan,” noting that he too is the “son of immigrants” and that Judge Alito’s “story of seizing opportunity and working hard” is “a story close to my heart.”

But when it comes to a Supreme Court nominee, he says: “It’s not where you come from that matters, but where you will take the nation.”

Menendez thinks that Supreme Court Justices are supposed to “take the nation” someplace: he, like the liberal Left opposing Judge Alito, doesn’t understand that under our Constitution, courts are not supposed to “take us” anywhere. In a nation based on the “consent of the governed,” judges are supposed to apply the laws the people have assented to.

Further revealing his sophisticated understanding of the role of the Court in our federal system, Menendez asserts that what the Supreme Court decides “is the law of the land,” but that the “Supreme Court alone has the power to revisit and reverse its previous decisions.” (Sen. Menendez: Please inform Sen. Lautenberg that this means the Supreme Court can get it wrong, and that it can overturn a prior decision that got it wrong.)

The two-faced pandering flips back and forth so fast, it’s hard to keep up with it:

Pandering to New Jersey: Judge Alito has “a keen intellect.”

Pandering to the Left: But he can’t replace Justice O’Connor, the deciding vote “protecting our rights and freedoms” (he got that line from Ralph Neas!).

Pandering to New Jersey: “I take pride” in the nomination of Judge Alito. “He’s a decent, intelligent, accomplished man.”

Pandering to the Left: But Judge Alito would “overturn a woman’s right to contol her own body,” “side with corporations over African Americans,” “favor the concentration of unlimited power in the hands of the President,” and “make it impossible for a person has been discriminated against to take his or her case to court.”

But really, he’s very proud of the decent, intelligent, and accomplished Judge Alito!


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