Justice Anthony Kennedy decries way court nominees are grilled

In a speech Friday in south Florida, Justice Anthony Kennedy decried the way some senators question Supreme Court nominees, defended President Barack Obama’s pursuit of... More Below... Posted by on May 15th, 2010 and filed under Politics.

In a speech Friday in south Florida, Justice Anthony Kennedy decried the way some senators question Supreme Court nominees, defended President Barack Obama’s pursuit of empathetic judges, and rebutted the idea of activist courts.

The Senate should not try to determine how high court nominee Elena Kagan would rule on specific issues, but should focus broadly on whether she has the qualities of a good judge, said Kennedy.

Responding to a question from an audience member, “Just to ask questions to try to figure out how the judge would rule on a specific question seems to me a rather short-term exercise. What you should ask is whether the judge has the temperament, the commitment, the character, the learning to assume those responsibilities.”

Last year, the president drew wide criticism from Republicans when he said Sonia Sotomayor would bring “empathy” to the bench. That meant judges could bring personal whims and prejudices, said critics, but Kennedy disagreed.

(article and photo source: AP)