Limbaugh repeated false Sessions accusation that Schumer compared Bush judicial nominee to KKKJune 8, 2005 2:54 PM EDT ››› ANDREW SEIFTER
Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh echoed a false claim by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) when he stated on the June 7 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show that Democrats had "compare[d] [Bush appellate court judicial nominee] Janice Rogers Brown to the Ku Klux Klan" (KKK) when they "accuse[d] this woman of being a grand exalted ruler." In fact, Sen. Charles Schumer's (D-NY) suggestion that Brown might want to be nominated as "grand exalted ruler" recalls not the KKK, which does not confer such an honorific, but the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Questioning whether Brown believes that "her views supersede the views of the law" in June 7 debate on the Senate floor, Schumer asked: "[W]hat does Janice Rogers Brown want to be nominated for -- dictator or grand exalted ruler?" Later, Sessions replied: "To have it suggested that somehow her ideas are consistent with the Ku Klux Klan is offensive."
But contrary to the remarks of Sessions and Limbaugh, the KKK has never had a "grand exalted ruler." The Associated Press reported on June 7:
According to histories of the Ku Klux Klan, the group has had Grand Dragons, Grand Titans, Grand Klaliffs, a Grand Cyclops, and a Grand Wizard, but no "grand exalted ruler." ... The position of "grand exalted leader" does exist for another, far less controversial group: the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, a national organization with local lodges that do charity work, offer scholarships, and help veterans.