Third Party & Independents Archives

July 19, 2005

Judge Roberts: Tempest in a Teapot?

President Bush chose conservative appeals court judge John Roberts on Tuesday as his first nominee to the Supreme Court. Will this choice invoke a filibuster by the Democrats? Should it? Judge Roberts is a conservative. It is not like Bush was going to nominate Bill Clinton. I see no surprise here. I also see no reason for a filibuster given the reality of the situation.

It is possible that Roberts could in a future case, vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. But the last such case saw a vote of 6 to 3 to uphold it. Robert's vote against would still mean Roe v. Wade upheld by a vote of 5 to 4. For Democrats, whose worst nightmare is yet to come, a 2nd Supreme Court nomination, Roberts no doubt looks like the beginning of a landslide at the highest court of the land.

Is Roberts the nominee to waste political capital on? There is an opportunity here for the Democrats to avoid fighting the inevitable choice of a conservative now and demonstrate to the voting public a blitz of bi-partisan spirit. In so doing, they would have far more political capital to spend when Bush's second nominee comes before them.

Many liberal groups will bemoan Robert's future rulings against sexual and ethnic diversity, and championing less regulation of business. But, the money they spend bemoaning will be wasted. Robert's record reflects competence and capability when it comes to interpreting and representing the law. They too would be well advised to save their money for Bush's second nominee, which will truly tip the court conservative for possibly a decade or more.

This nomination is a done deal. No alternative to Roberts would be less conservative. Therefore, my advice to the liberals is: Do not make a tempest in a teapot over Roberts, save it for the next pot of tea which will go down far more bitterly.

Posted by David R. Remer at July 19, 2005 09:31 PM
Comment #67588

Point taken. Although, I was hoping it would be a woman he would nominate. But that’s just a woman thing, not a partisan thing. Oh well.

Posted by: Julia at July 19, 2005 09:37 PM
Comment #67591


Your thoughts reflect wisdom once again.
I’ll only add to that line of reasoning by saying that he also has a short trail of paper(rulings,writings)to base a rational objection of him on, without seeming to only obstruct.

Any thoughts on that?

Posted by: Beagle at July 19, 2005 09:51 PM
Comment #67593

I just spent a few hours reading opinions from the District Court in Washington. I’m not a lawyer, but it appears he’s fairly precise and doesn’t often go against the majority.

In a way he is a perfect choice for Republicans, there is enough of a history for them to assume he is pro-life to make the religious right happy, yet constitutional based enough to make the other side of the Republican Party happy.

Finding something to object to is going to be hard for the Democrats with the exception of the “french fry” case that if you read the actual case isn’t quite the impression given by the little blurbs. Realistically given the way the opinion for that particular case was written, I understand why it was decided the way it was.

I agree with David’s advice to the Democrats, confirm him and get on with the business of Congress.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at July 19, 2005 10:12 PM
Comment #67594

To sound a note similar to David’s, I think conservatives should guard against over-reacting to Democratic attacks against Roberts at this stage.
I’ve heard too many conservatives already declaring that the Democrats are being outragious, trying to “Bork” Roberts, etcetera, and the official nomination is only an hour old! I think conservatives and liberals could all benefit from a few deep breaths and long careful look at the facts before jumping on each other.

And part of me thinks, wouldn’t it be great if after all our bickering we could actually agree on something? I don’t mean Roberts as a dream justice, obviously, because Democrats would prefer someone from their own camp. What I mean is a reaction like, Well, if it has to be a conservative, I guess that one’s not so bad. An experience like that might good for our all our souls.

Posted by: sanger at July 19, 2005 10:12 PM
Comment #67595

A link to some background on Roberts..

Posted by: Beagle at July 19, 2005 10:18 PM
Comment #67597

Wow sanger, that was a pretty honorable statement you just made.

Right now that is exactly what I’m thinking “Well, if it has to be a conservative, I guess that one’s not so bad.” So far, I haven’t heard any statements that this guy is a Janice Rogers Brown. That’s what I was worried about.

Although still, I wish it had been a woman nominee.

Posted by: Julia at July 19, 2005 10:23 PM
Comment #67599

I think the Whitehouse has already counted up the votes and both sides know it’s a done deal. Let Teddy, Chuck and Dick make their noise about not answering the questions then get the job done of confirming him.

Julia, you might get your wish on the next one.

Posted by: George in SC at July 19, 2005 10:30 PM
Comment #67600

He does have a short paper trail. Most of the time he worked as a lawyer. However, he passed through the confirmation process recently, so it would seem likely he’ll pass this time, too. (Although he failed to get through it as a Bush #41 nominee).

Some noise to follow, people satisfying various constituencies, nothing serious.

Quick glances thru web sites makes him appear to be typically conservative; looks like he’d favor ditching Roe v Wade, favor business interests over worker interests, business interests at the expense of the environment, and so on.

At this point he doesn’t appear to be an flamethrowing activist like Scalia, nor an unknown like Souter. He’s made a living doing the bidding of other Republicans, and has already been mentioned, has a short record as a judge.

Agreed, David, ask the tough questions during the process; if he can’t dance through the grilling, he doesn’t deserve to be on the Supreme Court; but move it along & confirm him.

Sometimes judges have a funny way of going their own direction once in place.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2005 10:33 PM
Comment #67601

I never felt it was necessary to replace a woman with a woman. I realize some do not agree with that, including the President’s wife. Realistically Roberts is a better choice than Clement would have been for several reasons.

I am surprised President Bush did not select a woman or a minority, because of the additional pressure placed by some on that as an issue. However, most of them had some larger question marks that could have caused alot more objection.

Not often do I give President Bush credit, but this time? I think he made a good choice.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at July 19, 2005 10:35 PM
Comment #67602

I think lots of conservatives were hoping for a woman or minority too. But I suspect that Bush won’t take much heat on that front because whatever else you think of him, he has a pretty good record of appointing women and minorities to high posts (Powell, Rice, Gonzales, etc).

Posted by: sanger at July 19, 2005 10:50 PM
Comment #67606

I found this exchange from Roberts’ earlier confirmation, something that makes me think he’ll get confirmed pretty easily. It’s true that Hatch is serving up softballs here, but I suspect that Roberts’ answers demonstrate that he’ll probably be acceptable to a large swath of Democrats. Seems that even the Clinton administration used this guy.

Chairman HATCH. In Rice v. Kayatama, you argued on behalf of a wise Democratic attorney general and Governor, both Democrats, in favor of a race-conscious program to benefit Native Hawaiians, right?

Mr. ROBERTS. That’s correct, Mr. Chairman. It is one of several cases that I have found particularly gratifying, where Democratic State attorneys general have retained me to represent their State in the Supreme Court. That has happened on several other occasions as well, and a group of Democratic attorneys general, as well
as a couple of Republican attorneys general, retained me to argue the Microsoft antitrust case in the D.C. Circuit. I found that particularly gratifying because it indicated that they thought my abilities were such that I would be able to represent them effectively, and certainly wouldn’t be dissuaded in any way by any political

Chairman HATCH. Let us talk about the Tahoe–Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. In that case, you represented a State regulatory agency before the Supreme Court, arguing in favor of limits on property development and in support of protection of the Lake Tahoe area; is that correct?

Mr. ROBERTS. That is correct.

Chairman HATCH. Finally, in the 2001 landmark Microsoft antitrust case, you argued on behalf of the Clinton Justice Department. Who asked you to do that?

Mr. ROBERTS. It was the group of States that had jointly pursued the litigation with the Federal Government. So it was actually the Democratic and Republican attorneys general, representing their States, that retained me to argue for them.

Chairman HATCH. So you argued on behalf of primarily Democratic State attorneys; is that right?

Mr. ROBERTS. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

Posted by: sanger at July 19, 2005 11:28 PM
Comment #67607

i expect the wingnuts to scream as loud as they can about this. This is their only chance to distract the public from Rove. Expect to see cries of Liberal Bias in the next few days.

Posted by: Aldous at July 19, 2005 11:51 PM
Comment #67608

Democratic grassroots campaigns are already asking for petitions & phone calls to their elected leaders, not asking for anyone to block Roberts, but to have them do their job and question him appropriately. I don’t smell a filibuster brewing, but I could be wrong. I agree with David that dems should save their money until a bigger issue/nomination comes along. I don’t see any big objection to Robert’s nomination up to now, but tomorrow may be another day. I basically have the reaction right now that Sanger suggests. I already knew the nominee would be a conservative and it could have been worse. I actually, for once, believe the administration thought this one out.

Posted by: Donna at July 20, 2005 12:14 AM
Comment #67609

sanger, I think you’re right that Bush won’t take much heat about the non-minority non-woman thing. It’s not that big of an issue.

I wanted a woman, but I’m not mad that he didn’t nominate one.

Posted by: Julia at July 20, 2005 12:16 AM
Comment #67610

I saw the head of NAMBLA on tv a while ago, she is hopping mad.

I also hear that Judge Roberts wife is the head of “Feminists for Life”. It stands to reason that he is pro-life. Pro-life groups are already praising the Presidents choice.

I’m happy with him so far.

Posted by: Beagle at July 20, 2005 12:43 AM
Comment #67611

Beagle, isn’t NAMBLA the pedophile organization? I can think of no better praise than to have pedophiles lining up against you! What were they hoping for? Michael Jackson? And what candidate could have survived THEIR endorsement. Strange indeed.

Overall, I’m impressed with the Democrat’s response so far, which is exactly my own. I don’t know enough about the guy to unconditionally support him, but so far so good. He sounds almost too good to be true, from my perspective. A top legal mind, admired by Democrats and Republicans alike. A steel mill worker with humble beginnings who graduated at the top of his Harvard class and who edited the Law Review as a law student. A conservative, yes, but somebody who has also worked for the Clinton Adminstration anti-monopoly Microsoft case and for prisoner rights. Somebody who adopted two kids. Practically a Boy Scout, unless there’s some awful secret we don’t know about!! Very interesting choice.

I thought there’d be a firestorm when Bush announced his pick, but tonight this site is practically a ghost town with tumbleweeds blowing down Mainstreet! A good sign for Democrats and Republicans alike? I hope so.

Posted by: sanger at July 20, 2005 01:19 AM
Comment #67612


lol…I think I should have said NARAL? whatever, a pro-abortion group.

The pedophiles are likely pissed

Posted by: Beagle at July 20, 2005 01:45 AM
Comment #67613

I think this was a great selection by Bush. Just yesturday I mentioned Roberts as one of two very qualified people that I wished the Democrats would suggest to Bush, as Hatch had suggested Ginsburg. Roberts has all the qualifications, temperment and reputation to not only be a great justice, but to get threw this process rather quickly- saving our country the shameful display that were the Bork and Thomas confirmation hearings. I do not agree with Roberts on many issues (he just ruled against my side in the gtmo case I have been working on for the last year- so that kind of hurt), but there is no doubt about his qualification or his fairness. This is the best thing Bush has done in a long time.

p.s. I think the practical interests of NARAL and NAMBLA are diametrically opposed. supply and demand thing.

Posted by: Misha Tseytlin at July 20, 2005 01:55 AM
Comment #67614

I also applaud Bush for not bending to the political pressure to replace a woman with the obligatory woman (or hispanic). He clearly went with the person who he thinks will make the best judge, and from what I know about Roberts, he made an excellent choice.

Posted by: Misha Tseytlin at July 20, 2005 01:57 AM
Comment #67615


Do you know if Roberts has ever ruled on anything dealing with the 2nd amendment ?

Posted by: Beagle at July 20, 2005 02:10 AM
Comment #67616

Beagle- I do not believe he has. As you may know, there is VERY little litigation on the second amendment, and the Supreme Court, with or without Roberts, is likely to continue to ignore this amendment.

I am always amused at how the court can be so creative in expanding rights not enumerated in the constitution, but basically ignore a right directly and explicitly protected in the bill of rights.

Posted by: Misha Tseytlin at July 20, 2005 02:16 AM
Comment #67618

Well, if Misha is for this guy, I have to oppose him. :-)

Look, there is a lot of discussion above how Roberts is not so bad from a liberal point of view, given the circumstances. I made that point myself in the article. BUT, do not get carried away here liberals, in your sighs of relief. Roberts could be devastating to liberal agendas for decades to come.

His litigation record demonstrates only that he is a very competent whore! Pay him enough, and he was willing to take any side of any issue for any client, liberal or conservative, and work his heiny off to please them with orgasmic results. His litigation record should not be misconstrued for his personal beliefs, biases, and agendas.

From what I am hearing about him from conservatives, Roberts will likely do the following from the Bench:

Vote against Roe v. Wade
Vote against unions
Vote for right to work laws
Vote for the Electoral College
Vote against Commerce regulations
Vote against the Environment where commercial interests are concerned

Vote against Federal action to regulate American based multnational corporations except where security issues are concerned

Vote for money as protected speech

Vote for religious expression in schools
Vote for tax dollar subsidies to religious organizations

Vote against public building display of religious iconography

Vote for NRA agendas
Vote for regulation of rights to assembly and dissent

I still think the Democrats are in an extremely weak position to try to stop Roberts nomination and it would be imprudent to do so poiltically. On the other hand, given his potential positions on the above issues, I fail to see any reason for Liberals to rejoice or feel very comfortable with his nomination and confirmation. I find him a bitter pill to swallow.

I believe Roberts is like a medicine which forces one to regurgitate in order to purge one’s system of poision. I think Roberts nomination and a conservative court is precisely what America needs to force voters to recognize once again, why turning the reins of power over to conservatives in all three branches of government is something they will gravely regret. But like a good medicine, it will bring voters to deny conservativism for a couple generations to come, after they have paid the price of conservative ideology and biases in all three branches of government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2005 02:59 AM
Comment #67620

Oh, and where is the battlecry from those on the Right who hate lawyers and believe they are the evil of modern times? Roberts is the consummate lawyer with a demonstrated record for arguing any side of any case for money. Appears conservative whores are OK, it’s just liberal whores who are harming our society. I get it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2005 03:03 AM
Comment #67629
do not get carried away here liberals, in your sighs of relief. Roberts could be devastating to liberal agendas for decades to come.

Yeah, but what can ya do? We don’t have the votes to make a big deal over it.

The guy has no history as a judge, really. You reeled off a littany of bad things, but you point out that it’s all hearsay from conservatives. They don’t know either. That’s why Roberts is a brilliant political choice: Bush looks like he’s throwing his base a bone, but nobody really knows what Roberts will do.

The only thing we know for sure is that the guy’s a GOP shill (as Misha pointed out, he’s all for Bush’s extra-judicial detainment of people at Gitmo) - and I wouldn’t expect anything less. But what can ya do? 51% of America wanted anti-labor, social fundamentalism, so we got it.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 20, 2005 04:05 AM
Comment #67630

Indeed. He could be the next Souter. Let’s face it. Its easier for a Conservative to be a Liberal Conservative than a Staunch Conservative. At least this Judge thing won’t distract us from torturing Karl Rove.

Posted by: Aldous at July 20, 2005 04:13 AM
Comment #67635

AP, Bush, if he is anything like previous presidents, is looking for a legacy to survive his mortality. Given Bush’s beliefs, I have very serious doubts that he would nominate an individual he personally could not endorse for the preservation of Bush’s social conservative legacy. That is why I have little skepticism over Robert’s future rulings toward social conservative decisions.

I will leave the door open for Roberts to have a change of heart on some issues as a result of his interaction with the other Justices, since he is both intelligent and rational.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2005 07:41 AM
Comment #67636

Aldous, I didn’t know Rove was heading to GITMO. You are too funny.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2005 07:42 AM
Comment #67639


Your initial comments were right on the mark—a bullseye. You delve into darker themes later, but those don’t fully distract from your original point.

As I see it, if Dems truly try to fight the Roberts nomination, it plays into the best hopes of Republicans, who would then be able to claim (perhaps even legitimately) that Democrats are against ANY nominee put out there. Roberts seems to be conservative (big surprise!!) but not so much so that Dems can fight him.

Can Democrats win this fight? I dont think so, and they will weaken their resources should they enter the fight. That said, there will of course be the normal bickering back and forth—which is essentially positioning and posturing, but I dont see it adding up to much.

An important aspect for the future is how this choice might affect the next choice (ie Rehnquist’s replacement). Since Roberts is neither female nor Hispanic, does that indicate that the next nominee might be female or minority? Does that indicate that the next nominee will likely be an associate justice, as opposed to a Chief Justice nominee, and if so, who is most likely then to be named Chief Justice.

David—I think you are correct that THAT will be the fight, rather than this nominee.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at July 20, 2005 08:03 AM
Comment #67644

Btw, as a testament to how unexpected his nomination was, his WIKIPEDIA page was locked nearly an hour after his nomination was leaked in order to change this paragraph at the beginning:

On July 19, 2005, Roberts was passed over by Bush as a nominee to replace Sandra Day O’Connor as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, who retired pending the name of a replacement on July 1.
Posted by: Rhinehold at July 20, 2005 08:22 AM
Comment #67651

I think Roberts is pretty much a done deal. NOW has already come out against him, but their protests will fall on the ears of Democratic Senators who are not spoiling for a fight on this one. He may get a grilling in Committee, but in the end Roberts will be confirmed. Now if we could get the Chief Justice to admit hes mortal and retire.

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at July 20, 2005 08:39 AM
Comment #67660

I’ll predict that the Chief justice will retire just as soon as Roberts is on the bench.

Leaving the court with a possible 4-4 tie.
That would make it kinda hard to block and stall anyone Bush nominates for long?

Wouldn’t THAT make for some heated debate on watchblog!

Posted by: Beagle at July 20, 2005 09:14 AM
Comment #67705

I think the choice was a good one. Having been a lawyer who has argued some rather high profile cases on behalf of both Liberal and Conservatives in front of the Supreme Court I think is a positive attribute for a nominee.

There are probably more jokes and derogatory comments about lawyers than any other group of professionals in the world. (With the exception of President Bush and the current administration of course).

Practicing law is a profession and a business. The lawyer does not have to believe in the guilt or innocence of a client or, the impact of approving or denying a cause, just ensure that the issue receives the proper representation according to the law. Of course this means that sometimes the verdict is different that what we might expect. The innocent get convicted and the guilty go free and, just causes fail to be enacted while unjust ones become law.

While personally I would have preferred a woman, as near as I can tell John Roberts is an excellent choice based on his experience.

Posted by: steve smith at July 20, 2005 01:01 PM
Comment #67713

Terrible, terrible choice — as David’s harrowing list of what Roberts is likely do with his votes show.
And yes, the left has been completely screwed (what else is new?), and working class people on the right don’t yet comprehend that they’ve been too.
Of course, everyone will lose over the environment, and far too many as usual, don’t care.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2005 01:30 PM
Comment #67724


You wrote…..

“Terrible, terrible choice — as David’s harrowing list of what Roberts is likely do with his votes show.”

I certainly do respect your opinion on the choice. However using the “crystal ball” represented by David’s “harrowing list” is shortsighted and morbidly optimistic.

With all due respect to David, he has no more way of knowing or, projecting with any measurable degree of accuracy what Roberts would do with his votes used in those examples than I do of knowing how many gallons of water there are in the Pacific Ocean.

Posted by: steve smith at July 20, 2005 02:00 PM
Comment #67736

“With all due respect to David, he has no more way of knowing or, projecting with any measurable degree of accuracy what Roberts would do with his votes used in those examples than I do of knowing how many gallons of water there are in the Pacific Ocean.”

I think you severely underestimate David’s level of intelligence, Steve. I don’t. I consider him not only extremely well-informed, but totally brilliant, myself.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2005 02:35 PM
Comment #67740

Adrienne, I am so red faced I would be camouflaged in the Republican/Conservative column :-)

Steve Smith, you are right, I have no 1st hand knowledge how he will vote on those issues. What I do have is logic. Follow the logic:

Roberts is a conservative (largely undisputed).

The direction of the votes projected above are in the direction of conservative.

He was nominated by a conservative.

And conservatives are very vocal on how they view those issues providing direct evidence of what would constitute a conservative vote on those issues.

Hence, the projection, based on conservative views, that he will be more likely to vote in the conservative direction on those issues than he would liberal. No crystal balls, just best guess on available information.

You are right, however, no one can say what an individual will do in future circumstances with any accuracy since there are too many potential variables unaccounted for.

BTW, there are about 198,660,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in the Pacific Ocean.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 20, 2005 03:00 PM
Comment #67756


Yea smarty pants, you got the gallons of water correct.
How many fish are there???

Lol..Just kidding my friend(you should know that I was) Grin.

Posted by: Beagle at July 20, 2005 03:52 PM
Comment #67765


I do not underestimate David’s level of intelligence and I said nothing in my post to indicate so.

You obviously know and have met him to be in a position to compliment him for being extremely well informed and brilliant.

While many, possibly most of his posts indicate that he is well versed in a wide variety of topics and may be by some barometer I am unaware of, brilliant I do not make such judgements without having met someone.

I do not in other words “judge a book by it’s cover”.

You are basing your conclusion/projection that since a person is nominated by a conservative, is himself a conservative and is more likely to vote as a conservative in the issues shown in your example you have applied nothing more than basic logic.
The same of course would be true if the nominee were a liberal.

The key here I think is that you yourself created the questions to use in your example. If you would reverse the “againsts” and “fors” in your example questions you would have to come to a different conclusion.

In the gallons of water question did you factor in the ocean water loss attributed to hurricanes, tsunamis, el nino years, etc?

Posted by: steve smith at July 20, 2005 04:47 PM
Comment #67767

As David so aptly pointed out in his original piece, “No alternative to Roberts would be less conservative.”

Any nominee that President Bush selected would probably follow the basic ideals of Roberts; worth remembering is it could have easily been someone who was even more conservative.

Not having my crystal ball handy, I would still predict there were other candidates that would have the potential for much greater harm.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at July 20, 2005 04:50 PM
Comment #67778
In the gallons of water question did you factor in the ocean water loss attributed to hurricanes, tsunamis, el nino years, etc?

Tsunamis and hurricanes do not cause any long lasting water loss. All the water brought onto the land flows back to sea within the next couple of weeks; and El Ni�� (ENSO) is only a reversal of trade winds, which caues higher than normal sea level on the eastern coast of the Pacific near Peru and a lower than normal sea level at the other end near Austrailia and Indonesia.

Regarding the Supreme Court, I think that Roberts is a barely satisfactory nominee considering that a conservative president and Republican Congress are in power and the nominee could be much worse. He seems to be ok, his only sticking points with me are his views with the enviroment. The last paragraph of the first page of this article in the Boston Globe states:

In 2003, Roberts joined in a dissent on the appeals court in a case involving a California company that had been blocked from developing an area where a rare species of toad lived. The dissent, citing recent Supreme Court cases striking down acts of Congress for having exceeded its authority, said the federal government lacked the power to protect endangered species.

This dissent on the ruling is one thing that worries me.

Posted by: Warren P at July 20, 2005 05:54 PM
Comment #67787

“Adrienne, I am so red faced I would be camouflaged in the Republican/Conservative column :-)”

I’m sorry — I wrote that without thinking whether it might embarrass you. (And yet, I always find it delightful to discover that a grown man can still occasionally blush! :^)

“You obviously know and have met him”

I feel I know David by reading the many thoughts and opinions he has written over the past year, and by communicating and sometimes arguing with him. I have not met him in person.

“to be in a position to compliment him for being extremely well informed and brilliant.”

Why shouldn’t I take an opinion of anyone who writes articles after reading them for that amount of time?

“I do not make such judgements without having met someone.”

What an utterly ridiculous notion! One can definitely read a writers work and form opinions over whether they are well informed, intelligent people — perhaps most especially when what they write about is current events and their personal viewpoints regarding them!

“I do not in other words “judge a book by it’s cover”.”

Exactly. Which is just what you would be doing by refraining to form an opinion of someone merely because you’ve never met them in the flesh!

“Great minds are to make others great. Their superiority is to be used, not to break the multitude to intellectual vassalage, not to establish over them a spiritual tyranny, but to rouse them from lethargy, and to aid them to judge for themselves.”
—William Ellery Channing

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2005 06:58 PM
Comment #67788

To get back on topic here, I consider it a very bad sign that Jerry Falwell has fully endorsed Roberts.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2005 07:06 PM
Comment #67789

Warren, in the case you mention, regulations were invoked that govern interstate commerce.

Roberts was not saying that the government in general “lacked the power to protect endangered species,” which it does under different laws. What he said, if you read his dissent, is that this toad’s habitat was entirely within this one part of California and so the case should have had nothing to do with interestate commerce. To me this sounds more like a question about the appropriate application of a law than antipathy towards environmental concerns.

Not knowing the minutiae of this case, I don’t know if I agree with Roberts on this one or not. But due to the complex legal issues at stake in this one case, I think it would be a huge leap to say that Roberts is any way against environmental protection.

Posted by: sanger at July 20, 2005 07:11 PM
Comment #67790

Well, Adrienne, if Falwell’s endorsement troubles you, does it put your mind at ease in any way to know that Anne Coulter is hopping mad about Robert’s nomination?

Posted by: sanger at July 20, 2005 07:13 PM
Comment #67798

“Anne Coulter is hopping mad”

:^D I agree. In fact, I’d go even further and say that she is stark, staring mad. But then, so is Falwell.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 20, 2005 09:50 PM
Comment #67800


I congratulate you for taking one sentence that I wrote and making it into two quotes.

“Well done is better than well said” - Ben Franklin

You make it sound like I am attacking David when nothing could be further from the truth. I have openly stated that I feel he is well versed on a wide variety of topics and that measuring by some barometer that I am unaware of, may be brilliant as you suggest.

I don’t judge a book by its cover and, I don’t make such judgements without having met someone is a perfectly civil thing to say under those circumstances.

You are overreacting Adrienne.

Posted by: steve smith at July 20, 2005 10:43 PM
Comment #67833
To get back on topic here, I consider it a very bad sign that Jerry Falwell has fully endorsed Roberts.

That’s the beauty of picking Roberts. Bush can give guys like Falwell a nudge and a wink, but nobody really knows what Roberts will do. Probably not even Roberts; he’s only been a judge for less than two years. I’m looking forward to the Senate inquisition.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 21, 2005 05:05 AM
Comment #67834

AP, Bush sat and interviewed Roberts. I don’t for one second believe that Bush did not run his own courteous inquisition as to how Rogers leaned on very specific issues. Having received Bush’s nomination, either Rogers said what he believed he had to say to get the job, or he spoke his heart and mind. Neither case is very palatable to me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 21, 2005 05:37 AM
Comment #67839


I think the point is that justices tend to sometimes surprise us in how they rule. There are examples on the current court of justices who have ended up voting so as to be in a different political spectrum than what was projected for them.

Is Roberts truly a conservative in the mold of Scalia? Perhaps. Will he be more moderate in the mold of O’Connor? Perhaps.

The brilliance of our founding fathers has created a system where a SCOTUS justice is there for life, and has the ability to evolve or even change as they feel led by their own conscience and intellect. They are not beholden to anyone.

We can all try to guess where Roberts will end up, and the most likely guess would be on the conservative side of the fence. How far he tilts to that side is really ONLY a guess, and that is the beauty of the system.

Posted by: jeobagodonuts at July 21, 2005 08:07 AM
Comment #67873

jbod, yes, he could surprise and vote liberal on some issues. But, there is absolutely nothing to indicate that that would be the case at this time, is there?

I am more skeptical than you about the brilliance of our forefather’s plan for the S.C. I assume from your remarks above that you believe the SC is largely immune from political influence. I would have to disagree.

There have always been political forces at play within the membership of the SC, and they became most pronounced when the Court desires unanimous votes, a product becoming rare these days.

Second, is in the selection process. Now, here I am speculating. But, I am guessing that prior to the 1970’s, the pressure on Presidents to try to screen and select Justice candidates who would vote party line on a maximum number of issues was not as intense as it is today. I know that the power of the office of President was viewed largely as equal to the other branches decades ago, and that is no longer true. Power has been added in increments over the last 4 decades which almost literally place the President as the head of their political party with more power to act without checks and balances by the other 2 branches in a number of ways (secrecy being one).

I suspect this predisposes Presidents today to view their selection process as far more political and litmus tested than prior to the late 1960’s.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 21, 2005 03:00 PM
Comment #68025

I was hoping Bush would pick an hispanic or another woman, but he didn’t.

Roberts should (and will likely be) given an up-or-down vote without a filibuster.

Posted by: mattLaw at July 22, 2005 02:00 PM
Comment #68163

It can be very difficult to predict how a newly appointed USSC Justice will rule. In 1956, Justice William Brennan was appointed by, of all people, Dwight Eisenhower in a recess appointment. He was later confirmed by the Senate with only one dissenter - Joseph McCarthy. The Republican crystal ball was not working too well that day. To all of our benefit.


Posted by: chicagoron at July 23, 2005 01:06 PM