Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) published an op-ed in The Washington Post this morning calling attention to recent failures of the judicial confirmation process. Senator Kennedy writes:
I have had the honor of serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee for 43 years, during which I've participated in confirmation hearings for all the justices who now sit on the Supreme Court. Over that time, my colleagues and I have asked probing questions and listened attentively to substantive responses . . . .
The Senate's constitutional role has helped keep the court in the mainstream of legal thought. But the careful, bipartisan process of years past -- like so many checks and balances rooted in our Constitution -- has been badly broken by the current Bush administration. The result has been the confirmation of two justices . . . whose voting record on the court reflects not the neutral, modest judicial philosophy they promised the Judiciary Committee, but an activist's embrace of the administration's political and ideological agenda.