RUSH: One of the things that’s coming up next Tuesday is the confirmation hearings for Judge Roberts will begin, and Patrick Leahy did something strange yesterday. He actually went off message. He did two things strange. He called Roberts back for a second meeting, and he gave him a letter, a memo and he said, “I’m going to ask you about this,” and I’ll give you the details about this in just a second, and then he also said… This is where I have to think that… I’m not even sure if what I read is right, but Leahy said that he’s not going to ask
“Reports that Senate Democrats are deeply divided over how to deal with the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts both over simplify what’s happening and underestimate the conundrums the Democratic Party faces. The Democrats are less divided than they are uncertain. They worry about doing too little to challenge Roberts but they also doubt their capacity to stop his nomination.” Now, this is right on the money. Do you understand the way we’re currently structured in the Senate, we’ve got 55 Republicans and we’ve got 45 Democrats? Well… Yeah, 45 Democrats. I know there’s some wayward Republicans, but on
“Most Democrats are certain that Roberts is significantly more conservative than Sandra Day O’Connor, but they wonder whether that alone can justify a full-fledged fight against him, let alone a filibuster. Many Democrats are frustrated over the difficulty of establishing exactly what kind of conservative Roberts is — or in the case of liberal groups firmly opposed to his nomination, of proving that Roberts is still the conservative ideologue who emerges from his memos as a young Reagan administration official on matters such as civil rights, disability rights, and the right to privacy.” Now here we’re back to this same old thing that I talked to you about recently: this arrogant superiority. The difficulty of establishing exactly what kind of conservative Roberts is? “Maybe he’s not a racist and not a sexist, but he could be a bigot and a homophobe. Maybe he’s not a bigot or a homophobe; maybe he’s a racist and a sexist, and we know he’s got confederate sympathies because of what he wrote about Civil War and we know he didn’t grow up around my blacks or Jews (whispers: “Jews.”) in his neighborhood.” This is the thing that irks me: This
“Roberts would not only immediately shift the balance on the court,” writes Mr. Dionne, Jr. “He’s also a potential nominee for chief justice, a post in which his political skills could allow him in tandem with another Bush appointee to create a powerful conservative court majority for a generation.” How come nobody worries about a powerful
Try being a conservative on any college campus or in many cities and just try speaking your mind and see how much freedom you’ve got, and then take a look at the equality and the tolerance that they claim that they possess, own, and represent — and talk about religious liberty? Who is it that’s trying to shut that down? You flash a cross at them, and you may be showing Dracula the cross. You put a nativity scene up in the middle of town, who is it that shows up and says, “You can’t have that,” and tries to tear it down? It’s not the conservatives of this country that do anything like that. It’s the
RUSH: Yesterday, as I say, Senator Leahy of Vermont had his second meeting with Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. He said he gave Roberts a copy of the so-called Bybee memo during the meeting. It was the second meeting, and this was the case then: “Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee argued in a January 22nd 2002 memo that the president has the power to issue records that violate the Geneva Conventions as well as international and US laws prohibiting torture.” So Patrick Leahy says he is going to ask John Roberts about torture.
LEAHY: It will be raised partly on the — to the question of to what area, if any, can a president be considered to be above the law, and I thought if he’s going to be asked questions on that, he could answer one of two different ways. He can answer specifically to the question, or you can answer by saying, “Well, I haven’t seen the Bybee memo.” So I thought I’d give him the Bybee memo.
RUSH: Oh, yeah. “See, that’s very funny. Here, I thought I’d trick him. I thought I’d trick him in advance. I’d give him the Bybee memo so he can’t weasel out of the answer to the question.” So you see where this is going. “What area, if any, can a president be considered to be above the law?” There is an implication that President Bush has been above the law, and they’re going to ask Roberts, “Are you going to tell us do you think he was above the law?” And, of course, they are hoping that Roberts will say, because he wants the job so bad, “I can see where some might think that this was above the law.” The headline the next day? “Roberts Says Bush Above Law!” and I wouldn’t put it past Leahy. Folks, I just want to tell you here — and this is a long shot, but I just want to get it out there and get it on record — do not be surprised if the Democrats try to disqualify Roberts on the basis that he has committed perjury. Don’t be surprised if they try to ask him questions that are so off the wall and confusing, and one question one day by one senator, another question the next day by another senator on the same subject. Just don’t be surprised. I’m not predicting it, but I’m not going to be surprised if it happens. Now, last night Leahy went on the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and Gwen Ifill was doing the questioning, and she said to Senator Leahy, “When you think about the things that you know that he has written and the things that you don’t know about what the White House has not been willing to release, do you think that somebody is trying to hide anything here?”
LEAHY: I worry about the things that suddenly get
RUSH: You know, this never happens when a liberal judge is nominated. There’s never any of this hand-wringing. The left gets just scot-free away. The right never — and the reason is that the Democrats comes at this as though we’ve got a suspect here. We’ve got a potential criminal that has been nominated for the Supreme Court. We’ve got to find out his guilt! We have to discover his guilt before it’s too late — and what’s his guilt? The way he thinks. What’s his crime? The way he thinks. His crime is what he’s written, and somebody’s trying to conceal that crime from us. That’s what Leahy is saying. Well, we’re going to dig deep and we’re going to find this crime because we know there’s been a crime committed! And why? Because he’s a conservative. That’s why he’s a suspect. So this is what they’re setting up: torture. Leahy did say yesterday that he’s not going to ask Roberts to comment on one case that might come before him. He says, “If a litigant comes before the court no matter what my color and so forth, if I make the right argument, a strong enough argument, I can be heard. I can’t be heard, I don’t have a chance, if a judge has already said how he’s going to rule in a case so I don’t think any judge ought to have to answer that.” That’s Leahy. Other Democrats will take care of that for him. He’s going to go after torture.
RUSH: So Senator Patrick Leahy wants to ask Judge Roberts, “When can the president be above the law?” We already know the answer to the question. If I were Judge Roberts, I would say, “Well, President Clinton has shown it’s possible. Bill Clinton has definitely shown it’s possible for presidents to be above the law,” and
LEAHY: Well, I — eh — I wa — ah — I want to understand that he really cares about, uh, affirmative action, cares about equality. I want to make sure he understands there is a lot of discrimination
RUSH: You know, Leahy, he’s already announced he’s against Roberts, right? (interruption) He hasn’t? I thought he is he was going to vote against him anyway. I thought he had. Well, anyway who cares what Leahy says? He’s from a white Christian state, Vermont. (whitest state in the union) He doesn’t represent the American people. You know, he claims to have all this concern about civil rights, and Roberts grew up in Long Beach, Indiana, and there weren’t any blacks or Jews (whispers: “Jews”) in his neighborhood. Well, where’s Leahy from? He’s from Vermont! How many miles do you have to drive to find an African-American in Vermont — probably quite a few — and on which road? I mean, the whole thing is condescending anyway. The arrogance and condescension! “Well, you know, I want to understand, he really cares about affirmative action; he cares about equality. I want to make sure he understands there’s a lot of discrimination,” like he’s some 18-year-old kid that’s come out of the average American public school. This guy, Roberts, could run
RUSH: I want to listen to this sound bite from Senator Leahy again and make a point that I should have made when I first heard it. This is from PBS NewsHour, Jim Lehrer with Gwen Ifill doing the questioning last night, asking him about what concerns he has with Roberts on civil rights.
LEAHY: Well, I — eh — I wa — ah — I want to understand that he really cares about, uh, affirmative action, cares about equality.
RUSH: Stop the tape! Right there is a major flaw. Affirmative action is not equality. No, it isn’t, folks. Don’t sit out there and shout at your radios at me. Affirmative action is not equality. Affirmative action
“But we’ve got to redress past grievances, Rush.”
Well, okay, when you going to draw the line and say, “Past grievances have been addressed and everything’s been equalized, now we do away with it”?
“Well, we’re never going to do away with it.”
“Well because we’re not! Because it’s a political issue for us.”
Of course it is. Affirmative action has nothing to