No doubt Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran have their reasons for opposing the nomination of fellow Kansan Steve Six to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Kansans deserve to hear those reasons.
As it is, we are left wondering by the brief statements the senators offered last week — and a well-qualified former Kansas attorney general and district court judge will go into today’s expected vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee without the support of his home-state senators.
Roberts’ statement said he came to the decision “after thoroughly reviewing” Six’s record and testimony to the committee. Moran’s nearly identical statement mentioned Six’s “qualifications” and testimony. A later statement from Roberts pointed to “several areas where his answers were not forthcoming or where issues of his judgment in handling cases as attorney general were called into serious question.”
Which answers? Which cases? In 21 pages of written responses to committee members’ questions, Six repeatedly said that, if confirmed, he would follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s binding precedents. Where’s the problem?
If the senators’ opposition has something to do with abortion, why don’t they say so? Would they, as the group Kansans for Life does, characterize Six’s role as attorney general as “protecting the abortion cartel in Kansas”?
Just this year, both Roberts and Moran have voted to confirm at least 15 Obama judicial nominees from other states to the federal bench. If they’re going to make an exception for a fellow Kansan — especially one who pulled the Attorney General’s Office out of the wreckage left by an anti-abortion crusade and a sex scandal — they at least should explain why.