Radio Address to the
Nation on the Supreme Court Nomination of Anthony M. Kennedy,
My fellow Americans:
week has been a busy and important one here in
Judge Kennedy's background includes many years as a practicing lawyer, first with a major firm, then in practice on his own; more than two decades of teaching law; and service since 1975 on the United States Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the land. Judge Kennedy shares my fundamental legal philosophy of judicial restraint -- the conviction that judges should interpret the law, not make it -- that, in other words, judges should be umpires, not players.
It happens that this is not the first time I've called on Judge Kennedy for an important government job. As Governor of California back in 1973, I asked Judge Kennedy, then a lawyer in private practice, to take the lead in drafting a complex constitutional amendment and to have the work completed in less than 8 weeks. Thanks to Judge Kennedy's remarkable skill and determination, 8 weeks later, the job was done.
In choosing to nominate Judge Kennedy to the Supreme Court, I've kept in mind the fact that criminal cases make up the largest category of cases the Supreme Court must decide. These cases are especially important to the poor, inner-city residents, and minority groups, since these Americans are victimized by crime to a disproportionate extent. Judge Kennedy's record on criminal law is clear; indeed, he has participated in hundreds of criminal law decisions. He has earned a reputation as a jurist who is tough, but fair. His decisions have helped, rather than hindered, the search for truth in the courtroom. And he's been sensitive to the needs of law enforcement professionals, who each day risk their lives in the real world of street crime and violence.
Judge Kennedy has already won bipartisan praise from the Senate, and I know you join me in looking forward to prompt Senate hearings, conducted in a spirit of cooperation. Every day that passes with the Supreme Court below full strength impairs the people's business in that crucially important body.
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Finally, I want you to know that throughout the week, administration representatives and Members of the House and Senate continued negotiations aimed at cutting the Federal deficit. The negotiators are seeking to strike a bargain that would cut some $30 billion from the Federal deficit during 1988 and as much as $50 billion in 1989. As Senator Domenici put it: ``We made headway on everything; we just didn't reach closure yet.'' The bipartisan cooperation that has been evident in these negotiations is encouraging. I'm confident that this coming week the negotiators will agree to a deficit-cutting package that is fair and enforceable.
Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Note: The President
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