Thursday, May 20, 2004
I'm confused: I'm having a hard time nailing down Sen. John Kerry on the issues. He's militantly pro-abortion, and yet he told reporters that he would consider appointing a pro-life judge, but only if it didn't tilt the Supreme Court into overturning Roe v. Wade.
Kerry said he has voted in favor of "any number of judges who are pro-life or pro-something else that I may not agree with," some of whom were nominated by Republican presidents. "But I'm going to make sure we uphold what I believe are Constitutional rights and I'm not going to pick somebody who's going to undermine those rights."
"Do they have to agree with me on everything? No," Kerry said. Asked if they must agree with his abortion-rights views, he quickly added, "I will not appoint somebody with a 5-4 Court who's about to undue [sic] Roe v. Wade. I've said that before."
Kerry's simply parroting the NARAL line here, the Supreme Court isn't split 5-4 on Roe v. Wade, it's split 6-3. Only Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and William Rhenquist have indicated they would overturn Roe.
Kerry stakes his claim to moderation by saying that he's voted for judges who do not share his same views. But earlier in the article, he identifies his vote for Scalia's nomination to the Supreme Court as one of the mistakes he's made during his years in the Senate.
So, is Kerry going to use a litmus test or not? Will he use a litmus test only for the Supreme Court and not for lower courts?
One question Kerry apparently wasn't asked, but should've been, is: "You've taken part with other Democrat senators in filibusters of various Republican court nominees, all of whom would be confirmed on a up-or-down vote. If you become president, why should the Republicans not do the same thing to your nominees? If ideology is the new litmus test, have you and your fellow Democrats poisoned the well of the judiciary?"
I would love to hear Kerry's response.