OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Senate Republicans may be about to lose one of their most colorful members, according to a Monday report. Sen. John Kennedy of Lousiana is “giving serious consideration” to running for governor in 2024, according to Politico.
“I’ve spent my life and career serving the people of Louisiana,” Kennedy stated. “Becky and I raised our family here and are so proud to call it home. But we can’t deny that our great state is facing serious challenges. To meet those challenges, Louisiana families deserve a governor who can lead our state and help solve our toughest problems.
“Over the last year, Louisianians have asked me time and time again to come home to serve as governor during these difficult times,” he continued. “Becky and I love the people of Louisiana. We’ve always listened to them, so I am giving serious consideration to entering the governor’s race. I’ll be announcing my decision soon.”
If he decides to run, Kennedy will face opposition from his own state party, which has already endorsed Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry for governor. Kennedy has developed a reputation in the Senate for his humor and wit, especially when it comes to grilling some of President Joe Biden’s nominees.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) November 14, 2022
In December 2021, for instance, he spent five minutes asking one of Biden’s judicial nominees the same question nine times in a row because she refused to give him a straight answer.
Biden nominated Anne Traum to become the U.S. district judge for the District of Nevada, and during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the Louisiana Republican asked her about her beliefs regarding criminal justice.
“Do you think we should forgive criminal misbehavior in the name of social justice?” Kennedy queried.
“Senator, thank you for that question. I recognize that all issues of crime and all responses to crime are fundamentally policy issues. So, those are important issues, they are important for our community and our nation, but I leave those policy issues to the policymakers if confirmed as a judge, I would not be a policymaker,” Traum said before Kennedy moved to cut her off.
“I’m not asking your opinion as a judge. I’m asking your opinion as a person, as a law professor. I’ll stipulate, with all of you, that you’re all going to be fair and unbiased. Now, do you think misbehavior and illegal acts should be forgiven in the name of social justice?” Kennedy tried again.
“Senator, I do believe that all criminal policy is fundamentally a policy issue –” Traum began again before the GOP senator interjected once again to ask whether, as a person, she thinks an illegal act should be forgiven in the name of social justice.
“Senator, that is not a view that I have taken in my work,” Traum, a law professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, replied.
“That’s no?” Kennedy said. “Is your answer ‘no?’”
Traum again said that she has not “taken that view” officially.
“I’m asking, professor, what you believe. I think this is really straightforward. Do you believe that an illegal act should be forgiven in the name of social justice. It’s pretty simple,” Kennedy pressed further.
“Senator, I believe that we have criminal laws, criminal laws that are created by policy-making bodies like this one — ” she said before Kennedy interjected again.
“I got all that. Do you believe that a criminal act should be forgiven in the name of social justice?” Kennedy, getting agitated, reiterated.
“We have not only criminal laws but we have a criminal process by which people come before the court to be held accountable if they are charged with a crime. And I have enormous respect for that process,” replied Traum.
“I do too,” Kennedy said. “Do you believe that a criminal act should be forgiven in the name of social justice?”
Traum responded by saying that each individual who appears before a court has a unique case and she “respects that process.”
Kennedy again asked whether a criminal act should be forgiven in the name of social justice.
“I don’t think I could say, with respect to any particular case or as a generality with respect to any category of cases–” Traum said.
“Do you not have an opinion?” Kennedy responded.