Fox's Garrett deceptively cropped Obama remark on judicial role

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

Fox News' Major Garrett deceptively cropped a remark by President Obama that Garrett said "aggravates those who believe justices should follow the Constitution and legislative intent," omitting Obama's statement that he would seek a Supreme Court nominee who "honors our constitutional traditions" and "respects ... the appropriate limits of the judicial role."

Saying it was a "description of how the president hopes his nominee will interpret the law," Fox News congressional correspondent Major Garrett, during the May 1 edition of Special Report, aired a clip in which President Obama stated: "I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes." Garrett then said: "That aggravates those who believe justices should follow the Constitution and legislative intent." But Garrett omitted Obama's very next sentence, in which he stated: "I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role."

From Obama's May 1 statement, with the words Garrett aired in bold:

Now, the process of selecting someone to replace Justice Souter is among my most serious responsibilities as President. So I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity. I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives -- whether they can make a living and care for their families; whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.

I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving as just decisions and outcomes. I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role. I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded, and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time.

From the May 1 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

GARRETT: Mr. Obama spoke to Souter after receiving this letter saying the justice would resign at the end of the court session in June. In saying farewell to Souter, Mr. Obama appeared to delight in his record of disappointing conservatives.

OBAMA: He never sought to promote a political agenda, and he consistently defied labels and rejected absolutes, focusing instead on just one task: reaching a just result.

GARRETT: The evident pleasure the president and his advisers took in the prospect of filling the Souter vacancy is likely to rankle conservatives even more, especially in light of this description of how the president hopes his nominee will interpret the law.

OBAMA: I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.

GARRETT: That aggravates those who believe justices should follow the Constitution and legislative intent.

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Major Garrett
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