Benjamin Cardin on Principles & Values

Democratic Jr Senator (MD)


Voted with Democratic Party 97.2% of 324 votes.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Democratic Party 97.2% of 324 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, "Congress Votes Database" on 2008 election , Sep 8, 2007

Would have voted against the Alito nomination

I came out with a position against the confirmation of Judge Alito. The voters of Maryland are entitled to know what standards we will use to evaluate judicial appointments. I probably would’ve voted against Clarence Thomas. I want to make sure that they’re going to protect the consumers. I want to make sure they’re going to protect civil rights. I want to make sure that they’re going to protect the, the people of Maryland against the abuses of government.
Source: 2006 Maryland Senate debate on Meet the Press , Oct 29, 2006

We need to change the direction of Washington DC

Q: Is the most important thing who holds the gavel in Congress?

CARDIN: Yes. We need to change the agenda-setters. I stood up for change in Washington. I took on the President when he was wrong. I’ve worked across party lines. But we need to change the direction.

STEELE: For Ben Cardin to say he’s a change agent is laughable. He’s been in Congress for 20 years. To all of a sudden say you’re interested in change is just not believable. Where’s the voice been? Where’s the voice on transportation, on health care? These voices I have not heard. Now to say that you’re for changing the system, when you’ve been part of the system that gave us these problems, is laughable.

CARDIN: I’m proud of my record in Congress. Proud of the changes I’ve made in Medicare & the retirement system.

ZEESE: I think both of you are right. You’re both selected by your party leadership. You’re both in bed with the special interests. And you’re both not going to bring change to Washington. The voters need to know that.

Source: MD 2006 3-way Senate Debate on NewsChannel 8 , Oct 25, 2006

Steele was hand-selected by George Bush

CARDIN: The Lt. Governor was recruited by George Bush, and Bush helped finance his campaign for Senate. The Lt Gov agrees with Bush’s agenda. That’s not the type of change we need in Washington.

STEELE: The Congressman has been running against George Bush for a year, but Bush is not here. You talk about hand-picked-you were hand-picked by Congressman Steny Hoyer to get in this race. If not for Hoyer, Kweise Mfume would be sitting here. He was the first to enter this race, and he stuck his neck out. You’ve been shepherded around the state by Steny Hoyer. When you talk about who’s hand-picked, not me, friend, you.

CARDIN: You’re the one who identifies with George Bush. You brought Bush into Maryland to raise a half-million. You’re the one who supports his agenda.

STEELE: Stop running against George Bush. Run against me and my record as Lt. Gov.

CARDIN: I won a competitive primary and Kweise Mfume is supporting me for the US Senate, because he knows I’ll bring change to Washington.

Source: MD 2006 3-way Senate Debate on NewsChannel 8 , Oct 25, 2006

Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Religious affiliation: Jewish.

Cardin : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH6 on Nov 7, 2000

Profiled in "Jews in American Politics".

Cardin is profiled in the book "Jews in American Politics":

When one reads accounts of Jews in American politics, the common theme is that Jews have achieved prominence in art, literature, academia, certain businesses, and entertainment, but not in politics or government. The Jewish politician was the exception, not the rule.

In the last third of the 20th century, however, that pattern changed. By 2000, Jews had become as prominent in the political realm as they have been in other aspects of American life. And Jewish participation is accepted for the contributions these activists make, not because of their Jewishness. Nothing could symbolize this trend more cogently than the nomination of Joseph Lieberman for vice president in 2000 and the national reaction to his candidacy. [Lieberman says]:

Although politics was not exactly a Jewish profession, individual Jews did throw themsleves into the democratic process. Some were traditional politicians; others machine politicians. Many more, such as Emma Goldman and the radicals of the early 20th century, were inspired by the ideal that they had a duty to repair the world—Tikkun Olam.

Many reasons account for the broader representation of Jews in American civic life today. The forces of antisemitism have been relegated to the extreme margins of society, the principle of meritocracy has increasingly opened the doors of opportunity. Moreover, the idealism and purpose that were spawned by the movements for civil rights, opposition to the war in Vietnam, environmentalism, and other causes drew many Jewish Americans into the political arena. Jews are admonished tp help perfect the world by the ancient wisdom of Rabbi Tarfon, who tells us, “You are not required to complete the task, yet you are not free to withdaw from it.”

[This book] provides brief biographical sketches for more than 400 Jews who have played prominent roles in American political life. The roster provides much of the basic information that we felt was previously lacking in one place.
Source: Jews in American Politics, Sandy Maisels, ed., pp. xii-xxiii 01-JIAP0 on Jan 1, 2001

Question Trump on Emoluments clause.

Cardin signed questioning Trump on Emoluments clause

Excerpts from Letter from 17 Senators to Trump Organization: The Trump Organization's continuing financial relationship with President Trump raises concerns about whether it is a pass-through for income that violates the Constitution's two Emoluments Clauses: Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 on foreign Emoluments; and Article II, Clause 7 on domestic Emoluments. Please answer the following questions to help Congress understand:

Legal Analysis: (Cato Institute, "Emoluments Clause vs. Trump Empire," 11/29/16): The wording of the Emoluments clause points one way to resolution: Congress can give consent, as it did in the early years of the Republic to presents received by Ben Franklin. It can decide what it is willing to live with in the way of Trump conflicts. If it misjudges public opinion, it will pay a political price at the next election.

FOIA argument: (ACLU Center for Democracy, "FOIA Request," 1/19/17): We filed our first Freedom of Information Act request of the Trump Era, seeking documents relating President Trump's conflicts of interest relating to his business connections. When Trump took the oath of office, he didn't take the steps necessary to ensure that he and his family's business interests comply with the Constitution. Some have even argued that upon taking the oath of office, the new president is already violating the Emoluments Clause.

Source: Letter from 17 Senators 17LTR-EMOL on May 18, 2017

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Cardin voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.