Monday, June 20, 2005
Why let history get in the way of a cheap attack?: Prompted by The New York Times' lame editorial "The Center Can Hold" -- which prompted me to file a request for a correction with Public Editor Byron Calame (no substantive response yet) -- Sen. John Cornyn responds to the charge that GOP senators are merely a rubber stamp for Bush's judicial nominees.
To the Editor:
"The Center Can Hold" (editorial, June 12) disparages Republican senators for rubber-stamping President Bush's judicial nominees. But the constitutional role of the Senate is simply to provide advice and consent on nominees without regard to any particular numerical outcome.
Moreover, no one should be surprised if senators tend to agree with a president of the same party.
Has The Times held up to ridicule Senator Charles E. Schumer, who has yet to vote against a single Democratic president's judicial nominee; or Senators Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Byron L. Dorgan or Christopher J. Dodd? All served during the Clinton administration yet failed to vote against a single Clinton judicial nominee.
What about Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Patrick J. Leahy? They served under Presidents Carter and Clinton yet failed to vote against a Carter or Clinton judicial nominee.
Have you accused Senator Ted Kennedy of rubber-stamping nominees? He served under Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and never voted against any of their judicial nominees.
Senate practice and even the Constitution contemplate deference to the president and a presumption in favor of confirmation. Further, a number of Republican senators, including me, opposed President Bush's nomination of Dora Irizarry of New York to serve on the federal bench.
U.S. Senator from Texas
Washington, June 14, 2005
Cornyn's questions, of course, mock the Times -- the paper's editorial writers, as I've said before, are partisan, not principled.