Bench Memos

The Best Defense. . .

Here’s an excellent press release from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R., Tex.). We take it as an encouraging sign, that this time around Republicans aren’t going to allow double standards and personal attacks to impeach their nominee.

Statement of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on Supreme Court Nominee Coverage

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today issued the following statement after the New York Times confirmed it was looking into adoption records of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts:

“I was appalled to learn that reporters for the New York Times had started an investigation into the adoption records of U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and his wife. Simple decency dictates that some boundaries should be placed on inquiries into the private lives of public figures by interest groups and the news media.

“In my view, this inquiry by the Times — no matter how preliminary the newspaper now says it was — steps over that boundary line. I note the paper initially claimed this misstep was inadvertent. But it has now been reported that the newspaper consulted its lawyers to determine ways to unseal court adoption records of the Roberts family. In my view, this is reprehensible.

“This is not the first time, in the period since Judge Roberts was nominated by President Bush, in which publications have gone over the line in their coverage. I was disgusted by a half-page Washington Post story two weeks ago deriding the apparel worn by the Roberts children when their father’s nomination was announced at the White House. The Los Angeles Times ran a lengthy story examining private activities of Mrs. Roberts that were largely irrelevant to her husband’s nomination.

“I hope everyone involved in the confirmation process will take a deep breath and consider carefully the fine line between legitimate background inquiries and invasion of privacy in such cases. In the meantime, I will encourage the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, of which I’m a member, to take a position opposing inquiries such as those started by the New York Times.”

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