This letter to the Globe is in response to a letter to the editor by a Gifford Weber in the September 12, 2009 issue of the Boston Globe. The respondent criticized Kennedy most for his "public flaying" of Supreme Court rejected nominee Robert Bork and thought that took a back seat to even the Chappaquiddick episode. I thought otherwise.
It is inconceivable to me how Gifford A. Weber (letter to the editor September 12, 2009) thinks that the main reason one should not forgive Senator Kennedy is because he zealously tried to block the admission of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Logically, if Mr. Weber is to be believed, one should criticize the late senator for the barring of Justice Bork from a place on the Supreme Court more than, he says, Senator Kenndy's lapses at Chappaquiddick where a young woman died. I have made peace with the Senator's private life missteps. He more than atoned for them.
The barring of Justice Bork from the Supreme Court, in my opinion, was one of Senator Kennedy's best efforts. Robert Bork was a right wing extremist and would have rewritten settled law. He would have been an activist right wing judge something conservatives supposedly loath except when its decided in their direction. In my opinion, Justice Souter was a solid justice. He was a happy surprise to those of us who care about human rights and progressive causes and see the Constitution as a flexible not static document subject to interpretation. One can hardly blame Justice Souter for, as Mr. Weber puts it, the "poisonous atmosphere" in Washington. I suggest Mr. Weber look to his own right wing for that.