Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

The Kennedy Choice


Ted Kennedy’s apologia this afternoon for his upcoming vote against Judge Alito should be welcomed — yes, embraced — by Republicans, moderate Democrats, proponents of self-government, and all fair-minded Americans because it crystallizes the choice Senators now face.

It’s always a welcome day when the American people are presented with clear choices. Senator Kennedy’s announcement today demonstrates once again the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the opposition to Judge Alito. The character assassins of the Left have the perfect spokesman in Senator Kennedy. Not content with his embarrassing display of intemperance, ignorance and generally boorish behavior during hearing week, Senator Kennedy summarized his opposition to Judge Alito by claiming Judge Alito was not “committed to equal justice under law.”

This is a despicable charge to level at a sitting federal judge. And it’s obvious to anyone who watched the hearings that in the case of Judge Alito, nothing could be more false. But that is what America has come to expect from Senator Kennedy. That is why we should welcome his announced opposition. The choice is clear.

The ABA – no conservative organization – and his fellow judges and former law clerks, including many Democrats, all sing the highest praises for this good man and his decision making as a judge. Most major newspapers around the country, even liberal ones, have endorsed Judge Alito. It is only the Ted Kennedy-ACLU wing of the Democratic Party that persists in opposing him. Senator Kennedy’s Democrat colleagues now need to make their choice.


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