Harry Corrects Himself

Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post from Harry Reid (D):

Deference to the President

Thursday, September 22, 2005; Page A24

The Post’s Sept. 21 editorial “Words That Will Haunt” made a fair point in criticizing one sentence of my floor statement on the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be chief justice of the United States. I said, “The president is not entitled to very much deference in staffing the third branch of government, the judiciary.”

What I should have said is that the president is entitled to less deference in staffing the judiciary than in staffing the executive branch.

Of course, I agree that the president is entitled to a measure of deference in judicial nominations. After all, the Senate has confirmed more than 200 of President Bush’s nominees to the bench, including many who have a judicial philosophy with which Democrats disagree. But when the president nominates someone to serve as chief justice, deference does not entitle the nominee to a free pass. Senators have a constitutional duty to subject a nomination with such far-reaching consequences to heightened scrutiny.

HARRY M. REID
Senate Minority Leader (D-Nev.)
Washington

I’m sure that Mr. Reid would concede a lot more deference in choosing members of the judiciary if said President had a (D) after his name…

Via Bench Memos

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