The Last Liberal Reconsidered

Being exhausted on Kennedy coverage, I recommend to you two final pieces on Kennedy. The first is from Orrin Judd.

Let me begin by offering a personal story about Ted Kennedy that is illustrative, but quite possibly apocryphal. At the time of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, he was a Senator from New York. The other member of the delegation was the liberal Republican, Jacob Javits. In that time of less politicized judiciary appointments, senators had significant sway with the White House and the party in power made a less concerted effort to pack the courts with ideologically safe choices. At any rate, the two politically similar senators had worked out a deal to the effect that for every two judges RFK got to recommend, Mr. Javits would get one.As it happened, my grandfather, Orrin G. Judd, had gotten their joint nod, on April 25, 1968, to fill an open seat on the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, but with RFK out of the way, the Johnson administration started making noises about withdrawing the nomination and naming a Democrat instead. The story has it that Senator Javits went to the Senator from Massachusetts, explained the deal he’d had with the dead brother and asked Ted to intervene with the White House. He did and the appointment was confirmed on June 24, 1968.

The second is from Pejman Yousefzadeh.

He showed some of his best stuff as a legislative tactician and strategist with the election of Ronald Reagan and the relegation of Senate Democrats to minority status–the first time that Kennedy had served in the minority since he was first elected to the Senate. As a member of the minority, Kennedy displayed his now-famous ability to reach across the aisle and work closely with Republicans on selective issues that could–and often did–attract bipartisan support. But that ability was nowhere to be found when the nomination of Robert Bork for the United States Supreme Court reached the Senate in 1987.

Read those two, both incidentally from the New Ledger, and you’ll be all set, up to date, and in need of no further reading on the man.Of course, after those, you can listen to Coffee and Markets.