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Let ideology ring!

There are two reasons why George Bush chose John Roberts for Associate Supreme Court: First is ideology, second is loyalty.

But, Bush selecting him for Chief Justice is just categorically discourteous.

- "He has a good heart." George W. Bush, 7.19.2005

- "(John Roberts) is widely admired for his intellect, his sound judgment and personal decency." George W. Bush 7.20.2005

- "He's also a man of character who loves his country and his family " George W. Bush 7.19.2005

- "He captained his football team." George W. Bush 7.19.2005


Isn’t this job the intellectual job for all intellectuals? Who cares if he played football? What are his qualifications for constitutional law? What are his opinions on interstate commerce, roe-v-wade or whether or not a corporation should be, in the eyes of the law, seen as a person with all the rights and privileges afforded to persons? Who cares if he pats his dog, show me your detailed knowledge for constitutional law.

But alas, in the mind of George Bush, ideology is king. Where qualifications are gory details and details are for wonks and everyone knows George Bush isn’t a wonk.

A well played hand

I must, however, give credit where credit is due; George Bush’s nomination of John Roberts as associate justice was a brilliant maneuver. By recommending someone that presents himself like a clean cut, country-club guy, with a stealth voting record, it’ll be much more difficult for his detractors to say that he’s a religious right-wing fanatic. Basically, Bush or rather his handlers, learned from the Robert Bork debacle. Whereas, Bork looked like a cross between Taxi’s Reverend Jim Ignatowski and Keith Richards, Roberts looks more like a cross between Ted Bundy and Jack Ryan.

Who is he, anyway?

John Roberts is the invisible man. He’s catholic, the husband of another lawyer and the father of two perfectly white adopted children. Since he has only served on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit from June 2003, his opinions are few and far between. As one of many, I have searched for details into this man’s background and came up empty handed. Roberts has 56 opinions under his belt as an Appellate judge. These opinions, averaging at 2 per month, range from simple racial discrimination cases like ‘Booker v Robert Half’ to negotiation disagreements in AFSCME CAC 26 v. FLRA. Overall, the decisions and opinions were slightly less than the constitutional heavyweight that George Bush has presented him out to be.

Before that, Roberts was a ladder climber par excellence. Working for famed constitutionalist, Ken Starr and working for the Reagan and Bush (I and II) in basically every way, shape and form. He sure was a busy federalist.

That’s not to say that he hasn’t done is pro-bono work either. In the 2000 election farce, he donated his time and incredible legal mind to the Supreme Court fight for the Bush-Cheney decision.

What you don’t know won’t hurt you.

Why is the Bush administration hiding Robert’s record? If he’s such a brilliant legal scholar, wouldn’t you want to scream from the mountaintop about your wonderful discovery?

That tactic is odd to say the least. And since recently the National Archives announced that the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., had discovered a "large volume" of unreviewed and unreleased Roberts documents that were filed under a code instead of under Roberts' name. (nice trick) Evidently, at least one file of Roberts documents on affirmative action has gone missing, and the White House, in its wonderful game of cat-and-mouse, is refusing to let go of the Roberts' documents from his time in the solicitor general's office during the George H.W. Bush administration. It appears that the Bush administration would rather have you look at his football record than his voting records. Does this mean that we’ve lowered the bar so low that we risk tripping over it on the way up the steps to the Supreme Court?

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Let ideology ring.

Posted by john trevisani at September 7, 2005 10:02 AM