Capitol Journal - "Rehnquist Nomination as Chief Justice"
Washington, DC, United States
01:10:53 - 01:14:00
Show host Hodding Carter and panel-- Lyle Denniston of the Baltimore Sun, Steve Roberts of the New York Times, and Kevin Phillips of the American Political Report-- talk about latest round of questioning the views of Justice William Rehnquist. Carter asks Phillips if this questioning is fair game. Phillips believes they are fair in context, pushing across the point that as Chief Justice, Rehnquist will have to practice moderation. In the context of making him out to be the devil, the questions are unfair. Roberts thinks personal ideology is a fair standard to base questions from, but the President won the election and is free to nominate those who share his ideology. Therefore, Democrats are trying to point out that it is one thing to be conservative and another to hold extremist views. Denniston sees the line drawn differently, between Justice Rehquist holding an extremist approach towards the Constitution, which Denniston thinks he does, and whether Justice Rehnquist is a racist. If you can prove he is a bigot or racist, then you may be able to defeat his nomination. Carter asks who has been defeated on purely ideological grounds. Phillips says that is the problem, that you cannot define bigotry apart from ideology and philosophy. It’s one thing to find actions of bigotry; that can be used and acted upon, but what is written in a clause on a deed to a home is not enough to go on. Carter and Denniston agree that all the evidence and memos presented to this point do not pose any credible threat to Justice Rehnquist’s nomination.