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Judge Kennedy's Nomination

November 24, 1987

The ability of the Reagan Administration to deal with the aftermath of injudicious and inept decisions that backfire seems to be improving lately; I guess practice does indeed make perfect! When President Reagan's first Supreme Court nominee this year (who was obviously nominated for political reasons resulting from his extremist ideology) was defeated by an enormous cross section of Americans who were compelled to action by terror induced by the prospect of a regressive right-wing extremist having the swing vote on the Supreme Court, Reagan cried foul, claiming that the nomination had been "politicized." This is sheer hypocrisy.

Just as the embarrassment of conservatives might have begun to fade in spite of Reagan's acrimonious and defiant remarks, the President again followed the disastrous advice of his attorney general and nominated an appeals court judge with much less experience than Judge Robert Bork in a highly politicized display. Reagan had pledged his support of Judge Douglas Ginsburg to the extent that revelations of occasional marijuana use by the nominee during the 1960s and '70s failed to evoke the immediate condemnation one might expect of such a well-known anti-drug icon. Reagan remained detached letting others in the Administration put an end to the nomination.

However, the Administration does seem to learn from its mistakes. It seems to have chosen a candidate, Judge Anthony Kennedy, who isn't a favorite of Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III and it is speeding ahead in what looks like a less controversial nomination. Perhaps in the future the effects of such actions by men who are so obviously uninformed, confused and incompetent but have reached a position in which political processes don't put an end to their power should be limited. Perhaps the President should be allowed a certain number of tries before he forfeits the chance to make such an important decision. Three strikes and you're out?

DAVID LAKE

Hawthorne

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