(JTA) — Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan slammed President Obama for nominating a Jewish woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
"(O)f the last seven justices nominated by Democrats JFK, LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, one was black, Marshall; one was Puerto Rican, Sonia Sotomayor. The other five were Jews: Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. If Kagan is confirmed, Jews, who represent less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, will have 33 percent of the Supreme Court seats. Is this the Democrats’ idea of diversity?" Buchanan wrote in his May 14 syndicated column.
Obama last week announced his nomination of Elena Kagan to replace John Paul Stevens, a liberal stalwart who is retiring at 90.
A New York City native, Kagan, 50, is currently the U.S. solicitor general and a former dean of Harvard Law School.
The Anti-Defamation League, responding to the column, called Buchanan “a recidivist anti-Semite who doesn’t miss an opportunity to show his fangs.”
"His remarks about the Jewish background of Elena Kagan and the religious makeup of the Supreme Court are bigoted and unacceptable in a pluralistic society such as ours," ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement issued last Saturday.
"Kagan’s nomination for the Supreme Court should be considered on its merits. She is a highly qualified candidate for the judiciary, an exemplary Solicitor General and a great legal mind.
Foxman said he hoped Americans would reject appeals to bigotry and anti-Semitism as the nomination process for Kagan moved forward.