I received an e-mail from the Democratic Party yesterday. (No this is not a big deal secret insider getting-my-instructions thing – you can sign up at their website and get the e-mails, too.) In the e-mail they have this from Sen. John Kerry:

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry

“President Bush has made it a top priority to stack the federal court with judges that represent the far right wing of his party. He will not miss an opportunity to nominate ultra-conservative judges to the nation’s highest court, putting our most precious rights at grave risk. A retreat on our freedoms will affect all Americans. Everyone must get involved now in the fight to prevent Bush from stacking the Supreme Court with ideological extremists.”

This is great to hear. I heard him speak on this subject at a fundraiser in December. When asked about Bush’s extreme judicial appointments he said he would NOT oppose right-wing judicial appointments based on their ideology, only on their qualifications. I don’t remember the exact words but I have verified this with someone else who was in the room at the time.

In yesterday’s statement Kerry still does not clearly say he will personally vote against right-wing judicial nominees. (Kerry’s campaign website issues page does not list this as an issue.) It’s great to hear that Sen. Kerry might be coming around and I’m not criticizing him if he is changing his position. I will, however, credit Governor Howard Dean for putting on the pressure that Kerry is (sort-of) responding to.

Sen. Kerry, think about this — How many of the Supreme Court 5 did Gore vote for? Did you vote for far-right judges Richard Leon and Karen LeCraft Henderson who today struck down campaign finance?

I was an enthusiastic Kerry supporter until I met him. I’ll still support him if he is the nominee. But…

Note – I called the Kerry campaign for clarification on his position this morning but the call was not returned as promised before 5pm EST, so I assume they went home. I’ve had this experience of the Kerry campaign not calling back before.