Opinions are coming from both directions as the media begins analyzing Bush’s nomination for the Supreme Court. Oddly enough, the Washington Post takes a somewhat supportive position. It must have pained them.
IN NOMINATING Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court, President Bush picked a man of substance and seriousness. Judge Roberts has served only briefly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but he was previously among the country’s best-regarded appellate lawyers, both in private practice and as deputy solicitor general during the administration of George H.W. Bush. Judge Roberts is a conservative, but he has never been an ideological crusader; he has admirers among liberals. If confirmed as the successor to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, it is likely that he will shift the Supreme Court toward the right. But his nomination is not a provocation to Democrats — as some other possible nominees would have been. Mr. Bush deserves credit for selecting someone with the potential to attract broad support.
Of course, the Democrats are not without hope for at least a small scene, complete with Kennedy-esk (I reject all french spellings) ranting and spewing of much bile on the Senate floor and before the cameras.
This is not to say that Judge Roberts’ nomination will proceed without controversy. At least one of his opinions since joining the D.C. Circuit raises a concern about his views of the balance of power between the federal government and the states. In that case, Judge Roberts intimated that he might take a very narrow view of the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce — the constitutional foundation of much of modern federal law. Judge Roberts poetically questioned whether “the taking of a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California constitutes regulating ‘Commerce . . . among the several States.’ ” Senators will need to explore whether he envisions a dramatic revision of federal power.
While, they’ll likely confirm Roberts, they’ll be able to get in a pretty good Roe V. Wade rant as well.
Abortion rights advocates have objected to his having argued, as a lawyer for the government in a case about federal funding for family planning, “that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” Judge Roberts has never said whether that brief reflected his own opinion. But the question has already come up anew — as have more general concerns that he is just too conservative.
Don’t look for the Dems to remember the last backroom confirmation deal where they agreed that ideology should not disqualify a person from the bench.
Some Conservative groups worry that Roberts may have a “Souter problem” due to his carefully worded decisions and ability to keep his personal beliefs for the most part unknown. I’m of the opinion that it won’t matter a decade from now anyway. History shows that Conservative judges appointed to the SCOTUS never remain conservative. Something about the power of the court, or perhaps the company they keep, inevitably moves their opinions and ideology to the Left. We can always hope that won’t be the case with Roberts. Either way, we have at least eliminated the swing vote for now, and moved the Court to the right.
Read People for the American Way’s scathing analysis of Roberts background here. Fortunately, even the Old Media seems to disagree with their conclusions.
If you’re feeling brave and haven’t just eaten lunch, read Ted Kennedy’s outburst here.
Naturally, the most critical (outside of the insanity Kennedy always puts out there) comes from the New York Times piece on Roberts. Captain’s Quarters points out that there are striking similarities between the NYT piece and Kennedy’s ravings.
Also, here’s the ACLJ’s take on the nomination (the ACLJ is a Christian/Conservative response to the ACLU)
I’ve known Judge Roberts for 17 years and litigated with him at the Supreme Court of the United States.
There can be no question that Judge Roberts is exceptionally well qualified to serve as the next Supreme Court Justice. He has served with distinction on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and has a keen understanding of the Constitution.
In my dealings with Judge Roberts over the years, I have found him to be a lawyer’s lawyer, exhibiting uncommon insight and judgment. A man of character, Judge Roberts understands the Constitution and has a record of applying the law — not legislating from the bench.
But his nomination has invoked strong opposition from groups like People For the American Way, Planned Parenthood, and others – because they know that the next Supreme Court Justice will play a pivotal role in major decisions regarding religious freedom … abortion … pornography … and more.
And they know that John G. Roberts, Jr. will impartially pursue justice and uphold the Constitution and the rule of law in all matters.