Watch Kennedy’s comments here.
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Federal Courts, Oversight, Agency Action and Federal Rights, made opening comments during the subcommittee hearing examining the relationship among amicus briefs, freedom of speech and association and transparency. Key comments include:
- “We're here today to look at the connection of money in our federal judiciary. The debate over money in politics is not new, but I think the partisan, I'll call it bickering, in Congress over the Supreme Court and other federal benches has almost reached a fever pitch. During the last administration, I personally witnessed an unprecedented—unprecedented—level of vitriol leveled at Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Their confirmation proceedings at times became circuses without a tent.”
- “Other nominees for federal judgeships have also been targeted, and nominees have been targeted for their personal beliefs, including their belief with respect to human life and when it begins. I hope that in this Congress we can do better, and I mean that sincerely.
- “Our First Amendment has to be honored, and that's something that I hope we can talk about today. People have a right in America to express their opinion. You're not free if you can't say what you think. You're just not.”
- “ . . . we do live in a cancel culture, and I think we do need to be careful that you can technically say someone has a First Amendment right, but—if they're canceled for exercising it—they really don't.”