Veteran political analyst and best-selling author Dick Morris tells Newsmax that he is “very concerned” about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s views on free speech.
Morris also says impeachment would be “fully appropriate” if President Obama grants illegal aliens amnesty — and declares that Sarah Palin has been the victim of “sexist, horrible coverage” by the media.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Morris was asked what he would focus on if he were interrogating Kagan during her confirmation hearings.
“There’s one area that particularly worries me about her, which is her views on free speech,” Morris says.
“She advocates apparently all kinds of draconian campaign finance limitations, all kinds of restrictions on free political speech, and advocates, as I understand it, increased abilities to sue for libel and defamation. I’m very concerned about that.
“That’s not a left right-issue. But that’s what I would focus on in my questioning of her.”
Morris acknowledges that with 12 Democrats on the Senate Judicial Committee and only seven Republicans, it would be difficult to prevent Kagan’s confirmation. But he adds that “seven Republicans are enough to ask tough questions, and the way these confirmation hearings work is that the [confirmation] is a certainty until it isn’t.
That relates largely to how she handles the interrogations.
“She has an advantage in that she’s never sat on the bench and therefore there are not a lot of opinions to ask her about.
“These confirmations are always a given until somebody stumbles, and then all of a sudden it becomes a real fight.”
Concerning Republicans’ threats to filibuster Kagan’s confirmation, Morris tells Newsmax: “I think their focus is a very good one.
They’re not saying they’re going to filibuster just like they would any liberal nomination. I think they understand that this is the Supreme Court and they’re filling a liberal seat.
“But I think their specific focus is that they want the memos that she wrote during her time in the Clinton administration to be released by the archives and by the Clinton library and made available to the Republicans in time to be able to read them and study them and ask her questions, and they are threatening a filibuster if that doesn’t happen.
“I think particularly for a nominee who does not have judicial experience, it would be very important for us to have access to those memos.”
Morris was asked about the legacy of Democrat Robert Byrd, who died Monday after more than 50 years in the Senate.
“I think a bitter one,” he responds.
“I think that he’s a former Ku Klux Klan member. I think his service in the Senate was nothing but destructive, and while I mourn the passing of any human being, I sure don’t mourn his getting out of the Senate. It should have happened 20 years ago.
“It’s so interesting how Trent Lott’s comments in support of [former segregationist Sen.] Strom Thurmond caused such outrage that he was forced out of office, and yet the positive comments of Democratic leaders defending Byrd, who was a Ku Klux Klan member, elicit no such backlash.”
The Obama administration is reportedly working on a plan to grant illegal aliens amnesty by executive order if a comprehensive immigration reform bill doesn’t win enough support to clear Congress — a move Morris terms “grandstanding” for Hispanic votes in the November elections.
“The power to pardon is a fairly extensive one, but it’s [almost always] been used just for individuals,” he points out.
“To issue a blanket pardon, particularly for people who are not American citizens and are not even here legally, would clearly go against the whole spirit of the pardon provision.
“Keep in mind what Obama has done. He’s been in office for a year and a half and he had 60 votes in the Senate for the majority of that time, and yet he never brought immigration reform to the floor.
“And now when it’s clear that it would not pass, he’s suddenly talking about bringing it to the floor, threatening to use his pardon authority. All this is grandstanding to get Latino votes for the elections coming up in November.
“His ratings among Latinos have crashed because of the unemployment, because of the general feeling that he’s doing a bad job, and because of his failure to push immigration reform. So now he’s hurrying up at the last minute to try to demagogue the issue once again, and I hope he doesn’t succeed.”
He adds that calls for impeachment in response to the executive order “would be fully appropriate in that situation. It would constitute an abuse of the pardon authority that would be historic in nature. But bear in mind, with Democratic majorities in both houses, impeachment wouldn’t go anyplace.
“On the other hand, I think the Republicans will win majorities in both houses, and I’m not sure that that might not be an issue to bring up next year.”
Turning to the 2012 presidential election, Morris tells Newsmax that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who says polls show he is best person to take on Obama, “would be a wonderful candidate. But I personally have entertained doubts, even based on conversations that we’ve had, that he actually will run.
“Because of those doubts I’ve endorsed Newt Gingrich, who also might not run. But I certainly think either of them would be a very strong candidate.”
As for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, she would “open very strongly” in a GOP primary in 2012, according to Morris.
“She’d open as the frontrunner. But then I think she would fade because I think voters would say, I love Sarah Palin. I love what she’s doing. I reject the criticism of her. I think she’s competent and intelligent and able. But on the other hand she’s been unfairly vilified by the press, unfairly victimized in sexist, horrible coverage.
“The net result is that she has a lot of baggage that would make it very hard for her to defeat Barack Obama. I think everybody’s keeping their eye on that goal of winning the election in November of 2012, and I think they might vote for another candidate who they think might have a better shot against Obama.”
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