Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Biased Umpire

Judge John Roberts tells us that he thinks of himself as an umpire, not a batter or a pitcher. He evaluates both sides and then applies the law. OK, so Democrats ask him questions to see if he is really neutral. Instead of answering, Roberts plays the “game.” The “game” of sophistry, the major rule for which is: Speak eloquently but don’t let anyone know what you truly believe. He is brilliant at this “game,” but the fact that he is playing the “game” so well tells me that he is a biased umpire.

What are the two sides that a legal umpire needs to evaluate? In the vast majority of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, we have a battle between liberal views and conservative views. This is true of abortion, the most important issue of the day. It's also true of civil rights, states rights and battles between business and consumers or employees.

From the little I know about Roberts, he has consistently taken the conservative view. He worked for conservative presidents and for corporations. He was picked by radically conservative Bush and almost all Republicans sing his praise. His Republican handlers have told Roberts that he better not be honest as Bork was and not be confirmed, that it was best he beat around the Bush.

I watched Roberts answering some questions. I came to the conclusion that as a sophist playing the "game" he is excellent. He does, indeed, possess the articulate gifts his promoters proclaim. For example, Senator Specter, who is in favor of keeping abortion legal, wants to know Roberts' view on precedents. First, Roberts says:

"I do think it is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent."

It sounds as though he may be against overruling Roe vs. Wade. Not so fast. He then proceeds to tell us all the possible situations under which overruling precedents are OK. Which is it? Where does Roberts stand?

Roberts does the same thing with all the tough questions posed. Eloquent and brilliant, while telling us nothing. Pure sophistry.

What are all the conservatives doing? They keep telling Roberts not to answer questions and keep asking him easy questions. In effect, they are supporting Roberts in this "game."

Umpire? Who would want to submit to such a one-sided umpire? He is not a neutral umpire who would evaluate both sides. Roberts is another Rehnquist. He is a biased umpire.

Ask your senator to vote against the confirmation of Roberts.

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 14, 2005 3:27 PM