SACRAMENTO — Supreme Court nominee Anthony M. Kennedy convened a news conference today--and then told 50 expectant reporters and photographers in a brief statement that, in effect, his lips were sealed. Afterward, he refused to answer reporters' questions.
"My understanding of the decorum and traditions that prevail is that it would intrude upon that (confirmation) process if I were to attempt to conduct a parallel discourse outside the confines of the Senate, and, therefore, questions in reference to personal matters and my family, judicial matters and individual philosophy must appropriately be addressed . . . to the Senate Judiciary Committee," Kennedy said.
"Due respect for the Senate of the United States does require that I refrain from comments and observations and responses to the inquiries of the press."
Kennedy said he would return to Washington next week.
The news conference was held at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, where Kennedy has been a professor for more than 20 years.
Kennedy, 51, returned to Sacramento today after spending five days in Washington, where he was chosen Wednesday in President Reagan's third attempt to fill retired Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.'s seat.