Exclusive: What Is The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans?

by VINCENT GIOIA July 13, 2010
Elena Kagan in court, looking fierce
On July 1, 1987 a man was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan. The person nominated to the court served as Solicitor General from 1973 to 1977; acting Attorney General from 1973 to 1974; and Circuit Judge of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1982 to 1988. In addition he served as the Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Public Law at Yale Law School from 1962 to 1981 with time off to serve as Solicitor General. He also was a professor at the Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan and received the Tad and Diane Taube Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. The nominee obtained both his J.D. and his B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Judge Robert Bork was rejected by the Senate.
Within 45 minutes of Robert Bork's nomination to the Court, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) took to the Senate floor with a strong condemnation of Bork in a nationally televised speech, declaring,
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens."
TV ads narrated by Gregory Peck attacked Bork as an extremist, and Kennedy's speech successfully fueled widespread public skepticism of Bork's nomination.
Judge Bork's nomination was rejected in the committee by a 9–5 vote, and then rejected in the full Senate by a 58–42 margin.
On October 23, 1987, the Senate rejected Bork's confirmation, with 42 Senators voting in favor and 58 voting against. Senators David Boren (D-OK) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC) voted in favor, with Senators John Chafee (R-RI), Bob Packwood (R-OR), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Robert Stafford (R-VT), John Warner (R-VA) and Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (R-CT) all voting nay. Six Republican senators voted against the confirmation of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
The vacant seat on the court to which Bork was nominated eventually went to Judge Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy is now the sole arbiter of what is or is not constitutional on a court otherwise evenly divided between those who respect the constitution and those who do not.
Fast forward to 2010. The most liberal and country-destroying president ever to have that office has nominated Elena Kagan, his solicitor General, to the Supreme Court. Kagan is the former Harvard Law Dean and has no judicial experience. She has had a non distinguished career - 14 months as U.S. solicitor general and two years as a private lawyer after finishing law school. Compare her credentials with those of Judge Robert Bork.
After Kagan's nomination no Republican went on the Senate floor to denounce her as Ted Kennedy had done years earlier to Judge Bork. There were no TV ads by anyone, let alone anyone like the well known movie star at the time Gregory Peck. So what have the Republicans done following Kagan's nomination? Here is a sampling:
Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins said she didn’t consider Kagan’s lack of judicial experience "as being a problem at all" because "it’s helpful to have on the Supreme Court an individual who does not come from the judicial background."
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican on the judiciary panel, said in a statement that Kagan has a "strong academic background" and that he has been "generally pleased with her job performance as solicitor general," particularly on terrorism issues.
Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Brown said he is warming up to Kagan.
Former special prosecutor Kenneth Starr said charges that Kagan holds extreme views are off base.
Michael McConnel, a former federal appeals court judge who was nominated by Ronald Reagan, said "She has had a remarkable and unusual record of reaching across ideological divides."
Himself denied appointment to an Appeals Court by Democrats, Miguel Estrada said "She's clearly qualified for the court and should be confirmed."
So you can see the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats fight tooth and nail and Republicans wimp out. Who wins in a fight between a junk yard dog and a pussy cat?
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Vincent Gioia is a retired patent attorney living in Palm Desert, California. His blogs at www.vincentgioia.com and he may be contacted at gioia@gte.net.

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