A shocking thing to do but I was curious whether this awful behavior had ever happened before so I searched the New York Times (which is tremendously incensed about all this) for “judicial nominees’ clients”. Whoo boy! Turns out the shoe is just on the other foot.
There over a thousand articles at the linked-to search summary (some duplicates, surely) but most are protected behind the Time’s money wall which I dare not breach (or will not). I thus could not retrieve the Times 1971 editorial objection to Judge William Rhenquist’s nominatio but I did find via Google this testimony against the nomination by members of the NAACP before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Seems they objected to the man because, years before, he had volunteered [their emphasis] to defend against the Equal Accommodations Act. Hmm – isn’t the objection to the Gitmo lawyers that they, too volunteered their services?
The Times concludes this morning:
If lawyers who take on controversial causes are demonized with impunity, it will be difficult for unpopular people to get legal representation — and constitutional rights that protect all Americans will be weakened. That is a high price to pay for scoring cheap political points.
I just can’t find any evidence that The Times exhibited this same concern when judicial nominees represented polluters or racists or anything else that fine paper labels a “conservative cause”. I happen to agree with the Times’ position – it happens – but a principled stand is one which you don’t shift depending on whether or not you approve of the actors’ behavior. The Times is no better and in fact is as bad as Lyn Liz Cheney and her ilk who are going after these lawyers.
UPDATE: Instalanche! Thanks, Glenn. ( I was wondering why I was getting so many comments from readers whose names I didn’t recognize)
UPDATE II: And now, Tigerhawk! Cool!