Seeking for Righteousness

The Personal Blog of Kaimi Wenger

Washington Post Forget Who Nominated Souter?

Today’s article contains a passage reading:

One official said an ideal scenario for the administration and its allies would be for Justice John Paul Stevens, 82, to retire. Though appointed by Republican President Gerald R. Ford, in 1975, Stevens is a consistently liberal voice on the court, so the administration could argue that installing Gonzales in the Stevens seat would be a net gain for the right.

If Rehnquist retired, Bush would have the option of elevating a current member to chief justice while installing a new nominee as associate justice. In that case, officials said, he would most likely choose from the court’s other four Republican appointees, O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas or Anthony M. Kennedy. (emphasis added)

Let’s see, that makes Stevens, Rehnquist, and the “other four Republican appointees.” A total of six. And, by default, the other three Democratic appointees.

But wait! The authors apparently do know who nominated Souter. Two paragraphs later, the article reads:

Conservatives have also pounded home the message that they expect no repeat of the elder’s nomination of David H. Souter to the court. A little-known “stealth nominee” — one without a long record or well-known ideology — when he was named in 1990, Souter has infuriated the right by consistently voting with the court’s four-member liberal bloc.

Hmm, maybe the earlier passage should read “he would likely choose from among four of the other Republican appointees.” Or perhaps “he would likely choose from the four other justices that Republicans are willing to call ‘Republican appointees.'” Any number of other permutations would be alright. But, as it now reads, the article clearly implies a mistake of fact — which is made even worse given the authors’ clear knowledge of the actual fact, displayed two paragraphs later.

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January 19, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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