The Noise Machine wants you to believe that Democratic Senators will roll over for Roberts…
Democrats have decided that unless there is an unexpected development in the weeks ahead, they will not launch a major fight to block the Supreme Court nomination of John G. Roberts Jr., according to legislators, Senate aides and party strategists.
DON’T BELIEVE IT. We may not have enough votes for a filibuster but there are some Democratic Senators on the Judiciary who will not go quietly into that good night…
Sen. Patrick Leahy, who will lead the Democratic questioning at John Roberts’ confirmation hearings, criticized the Supreme Court nominee Tuesday as an “eager, aggressive advocate” for policies of the Republican far right wing.
One day after the release of 5,000 pages of Reagan-era records, the Vermont Democrat said in a statement that Roberts’ views were “among the most radical being offered by a cadre intent on reversing decades of policies on civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, privacy and access to justice.”
Leahy stopped short of announcing his opposition to the appointment, in keeping with a call from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid for the rank and file to wait for confirmation hearings before making decisions. But his statement was by far the most critical he has made since President Bush nominated Roberts to the high court, and among the most scathing by any Democrat.
Leahy is not alone in his strong feelings about Roberts. Sen. Ted Kennedy, also “expressed concern about documents that were not released on Monday, asking for investigations into a few that were reported missing.”
Nearly 500 were kept private in their entirety on grounds of national security or privacy, according to Allen Weinstein, head of the National Archives and Records Administration. Leahy asked that portions of those be made public, as appropriate.
Additionally, a folder of material relating to affirmative action was misplaced by library officials after being reviewed by administration officials, Weinstein wrote. He said he believed the material had been reconstructed without the originals and made public. Both Leahy and Kennedy asked for investigations.
Ralph Neas, president of People For The American Way, said a “significant number of progressive organizations will soon be coming out against the Roberts nomination.”
In a private meeting with Senate Democratic aides, Neas said angrily that the public was being left with the impression that Roberts’ confirmation proceedings were a mere formality, according to several participants.
For his part, Reid, D-Nev., seemed eager to rebut any such suggestion. “All this talk about whether Democrats will support the Roberts nomination is laughably premature. The hearings have not even begun.”
Kennedy also urged fellow Democrats to avoid making a decision on their vote until after the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, set to begin Sept. 6.
“I can tell you from having gone through 20 Supreme Court nominations _ and hundreds of other contested nominations _ that the process is frequently slow, and, not surprisingly, that the most important information _ one way or the other _ is frequently not discovered or understood until a late stage,” he wrote.
Read Senator Kennedy’s letter here: Kennedy Calls For Investigation Into Vital Missing Documents On John Roberts
Read Senator Leahy’s letter here: Leahy Presses For Release Of Roberts’s Documents From Reagan Library That Are Being Withheld
Read: Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee) On The Recent Documents Relating To The Roberts Nomination – August 16, 2005