1 July 2005
Senator Ted Kennedy just held a conference call with a group of liberal bloggers to discuss Sandra Day O’Connor’s resignation.
After thanking everyone for joining the call, Senator Kennedy said, “We could not have anticipated what we are facing.”
Kennedy has participated in over 20 Supreme Court nominations during his career. He thanked O’Connor for her service to our country, reiterating that she was a mainstream conservative Justice.
Kennedy said, “I hope the President will select someone who served as she did. I urge the president to consult with the Senate on the nominee choice.” He noted that the Senate’s advice role “must not be given the short shift.”
“We have a divided country,” Kennedy said. Nominating a mainstream Justice is an “opportunity for the President” to bring the country together. He noted that the President must choose a consensus, mainstream candidate.
“If the president abuses his power with this nomination, we will oppose his nomination. I’m not going to support a nominee unless they demonstrate the constitutional values of this country.” Among the values, Kennedy cited:
*Separation of Church and State
*The First Amendment
*The role of Senate and Congress in the constitutional process
Kennedy said that he was asked earlier today if another woman Justice should replace O’Connor. He said, “We should expect the courts to reflect our diverse society,” reiterating that we entitled to that and it is the strength of our nation as a whole.
Jeralyn Merritt from TalkLeft asked the Senator what his thoughts were on a nominee without prior judicial experience. Kennedy replied, “We’ve had them before,” noting that the nominee would need to be “stepped in awareness” of the constitution.
TalkLeft also has a post today, that James Dobson is already mobilizing. Senator Kennedy noted that the conservative groups have a war chest of over $18 million geared towards the Supreme Court nomination and they are already advertising. We must mobilize on this.
I’ve already received emails from NARAL, MoveOn.org, the LCV today. LUTD will compile a list of action alerts and post them.
Bloggers who also participated in the call included: Jeraly Merritt from TalkLeft (mentioned above); John from Crooks and Liars; Dave from Seeing the Forest; Duncan at Atrios; Bob Brigham from Swing State Project; Stirling Newberry from BOP News; Mark and Brian from Dembloggers; Chris Bowers from MYDD.
Senator Kennedy was very gracious to invite us all to participate. He noted that we could look forward to more of this in future. Many thanks to Senator Kennedy for taking the time to speak with us all.