A tainted legacy
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De mortuis nil nisi bonum -- so goes the maxim about not speaking anything bad about the recent dead. I'm sorry, but I must in conscience break this rule of conduct if applied to Arlen Specter.
All the encomiums and recollections of his public service to Pennsylvania and the nation do not in my mind erase his unconscionable bullying behavior toward Anita Hill in the hearings to select Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.
Vivid remembrances remain with me of his efforts to confuse and embarrass her with quasi-legal jargon and intimidation to the point of accusing her of perjury. And he carried this behavior from the hearings to the Senate floor confirmation vote.
With Specter's ramrodding of the truly unqualified Mr. Thomas for Supreme Court justice, we suffer today and will for many years hence the incompetence of a virtual lapdog for Justice Anthony Scalia and his court decisions.
Specter's action in the Clarence Thomas matter clamors for attention, as this upcoming presidential election will determine future appointments to the sharply divided Supreme Court and could tip the balance in overturning affirmative action, Roe v. Wade and other progressive judicial decisions.
Judge me cruel, but Arlen Specter's legacy will for me be ever tainted by his devious and browbeating behavior toward Anita Hill and the harm that has been done to our country.
First Published October 26, 2012 12:00 am