Sunday, September 21, 2008

Joe Biden's cheap shot at Clarence Thomas - Will Joe cheap shot Sarah in the debates?




Clarence Thomas' book "My Grandfather's Son" reveals Biden's slippery approach during Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearings.


Here is what Claremce Thomas wrote about it in pages 235 and 236 of that book.


Senator Biden was the first questioner. Instead of the softball questions he’d promised to ask, he threw a beanball straight at my head, quoting from a speech I’d given four years earlier at the Pacific Legal Foundation and challenging me to defend what I’d said. ”I find attractive the arguments of scholars such as Stephen Macedo, who defend an activist Supreme Court that would strike down laws restricting property rights.” That caught me off guard, and I had no recollection of making so atypical a statement, which shook me up even more. “Now, it would seem to me what you were talking about,” Senator Biden went on to say, “is you find it attractive the fact that they are activists and they would like to strike down existing laws that impact on restricting the use of property rights, because you know, that is what they write about.”

Since I didn’t remember making the statement in the first place, I didn’t know how to respond to it. All I could say in reply was that “it has been some time since I have read Professor Macedo … But I don’t believe that in my writings I have indicated that we should have an activist Supreme Court.” It was, I knew, a weak answer. Fortunately, though, the young lawyers who had helped prepare me for the hearing had loaded all of my speeches into a computer and at the first break in the proceedings they looked this one up. The senator, they found, had wrenched my words out of context. I looked at the text and saw that the passage he’d read out loud had been immediately followed by two other sentences: “But the libertarian argument overlooks the place of the Supreme Court in a scheme of separation of powers. One does not strengthen self-government and the rule of law by having the non-democratic branch of the government make policy.” The point I’d been making was the opposite of the one that Senator Biden claimed I had made.