Did Ken Starr make a dig at Ted Cruz?

Ken Starr in 2004 (Larry Downing/Reuters)
Ken Starr in 2004 (Larry Downing/Reuters)

Does Ken Starr have an issue with his fellow Republican and home state Sen. Ted Cruz? Or maybe he was just dissing Congress.

At any rate, he made an unmistakable reference Friday to the moment in the Texas senator’s not-quite-a-filibuster when Cruz paused in his denunciation of Obamacare to read a storybook to his children watching at home.

Starr, best known as President Bill Clinton’s inquisitor but also a former federal judge who is  now president of Baylor University, was appearing on a panel about the Supreme Court sponsored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. He effusively praised the court’s work, based on his experience as a lawyer of arguing 36 cases before the high court and apparently comparing it to other branches of government.

“The court works brilliantly, and its process is a very serious process,” said Starr. “It has its moments of humor, lightness and touch. You don’t get the sense that the justices are taking themselves with undue seriousness; the advocates aren’t unctuous and Uriah Heep-ish. . . . They are professionals doing very professional work — they’re not sitting there reading Green Eggs and Ham.”

The National Press Club audience laughed heartily at the joke.

While the justices would no doubt welcome Starr’s praise, they disagree with his larger point: He thinks the court’s proceedings should be televised.

Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. He has covered the Supreme Court since November 2006. He gave up law school plans for a life in newspapers after taking a journalism class in college. It did not occur to him, as it apparently did to others, that he could do both.
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Sean Sullivan | October 25, 2013