Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) appeared yesterday on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the longest serving Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on "This Week" Sunday that President Barack Obama used "code" for an activist judge this week when describing his ideal nominee to replace retiring Justice David Souter.
Ok, kids, break out your Super Secret Decoder Rings! But before we decode the message, let’s take a look at what we’re working with:
Obama this week said he was looking for a person of intelligence, excellence, integrity, and empathy.
"I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory, or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living, care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes, and welcome in their own nation," Obama said Friday, in a clip that aired on 'This Week."
Wait a minute, is this something that I really need to take time dialing up letters to find a real message? It seems pretty straight forward to me. Sen. Hatch says not so fast!
"It's a matter of great concern, if he's saying that he wants to pick people who will take sides. He's also said that a judge has to be a person of empathy -- what does that mean? Usually that's a code word for an activist judge," Hatch told me on "This Week."
"But he also said that, that, he's going to select judges on the basis of their personal politics, their personal feelings, their personal preferences," Hatch said, "Now, you know those are all code words for an activist judge who's going to be partisan on the bench."
I’m not surprised to hear that Sen. Hatch doesn’t know the meaning of empathy. Republicans don’t understand empathy because, frankly, they don’t practice it. Also, the President said nothing about wanting anything “personal” from his nominee. The Republican attack on this is so predictable. You’re going to hear the phrase “activist judge” a lot.
Remember, they’re only activist judges when they disagree with the conservative issues. Otherwise, they’d be called brave heroes.