Below are Senator Kerry’s remarks as prepared for delivery on the floor of the Senate today on Judge Samuel Alito’s nomination to serve as a Justice on the United States Supreme Court:
“Mr. President, On countless nominations Democrats have joined Republicans and Republicans have joined Democrats to send a judicial nomination to the floor with a powerful, bipartisan vote. Chief Justice Roberts came to the floor 13-5. Justice Breyer came to the floor unanimously. Justice Ginsburg came to the floor unanimously. Justice Breyer won on the floor 87-9. Justice Ginsburg 97-3, and Chief Justice Roberts 78-22.
“But, in this case, Judge Alito comes to the floor in a straight party line, particularly divided vote. In a divided country, at a time of heightened partisan tensions, at a time of ideology often trumping common sense or broad public interest, the President has chosen to send a Supreme Court nominee who comes directly out of a revolt by the ideological wing of his party in order to satisfy their demand for ideological orthodoxy.
“Some people obviously delight in that. We’ve read about that today in the New York Times. And that is their right. But most don’t. Most don’t think that is the way to pick a Supreme Court Justice. It doesn’t mean it’s good for the country. It doesn’t mean it fills our current needs, and it doesn’t mean it is even the right thing to do.
“As we approach this nominee, we can’t forget that he was not the President’s first choice. His first choice was Harriet Miers, and opposition to her nomination came not from Democrats but from the far right of the Republican Party. They challenged her ideological purity with such conviction that the President capitulated to their demands and gave them Judge Alito instead—a nominee who they received with gleeful excitement.
MORE at the Democratic Daily.