Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy Had Racial Covenants
It's particularly ironic that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee would try to smear Samuel Alito as racist for his 1980s membership in a Princeton organization that was against affirmative action - especially given the backgrounds of Alito's leading critics on the Committee.
In fact, Senators Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden have some significant exposure of their own on the racial sensitivity front, given the fact that both their families owned homes that were restricted by "racial covenants" from being sold to blacks, Jews or other minorities.
The startling news emerged in 1986, during confirmation hearings for the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Back then, Democrats were in the midst of skewering Rehnquist as a racist because a deed on a home he once owned had a racial covenant.
But the tables were turned when Republicans on the Committee learned that both Kennedy and Biden's families owned property with the same kind of racial restrictions.
United Press International picked up the story, reporting at the time: "The parents of Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., own a home in Wilmington, Del., that has an old deed prohibiting sale or occupancy by blacks."
Biden insisted that neither he nor his parents knew about the racist restriction. The Delaware Democrat announced that when his family found out they took immediate legal action to reverse what he called the "morally repugnant" agreement.
Sen. Kennedy's racial skeletons came tumbling out of the closet shortly thereafter, when news surfaced that his brother, the late President John F. Kennedy, had a racially restrictive covenant on the deed to his Georgetown home.
Kennedy, who was leading the charge against Justice Rehnquist, insisted his brother couldn't have possibly known about the racist agreement, which he called "deplorable."