July 19, 2005
ABC SAYS IT'S JOHN ROBERTS from the D.C. Circuit.
UPDATE: Jonathan Adler has thoughts.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Sean Hackbarth says that Roberts' confirmation hearings will likely turn on French Fries. Though most definitely not, in this case, "freedom fries."
Here's a profile of Roberts. And note that Joe Lieberman put him forward as a compromise candidate who would be easily confirmable:
Lieberman is one of the "Gang of 14," seven Democrats and seven Republicans who in May broke a Senate deadlock by agreeing not to filibuster judicial nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances." . . .
Lieberman offered reporters Wednesday three names he said could be considered without sparking a talk-athon. He would not say whether he brought them up to Rove.
He said federal appellate Judges Michael McConnell and John G. Roberts were "in the ballpark," and that "people tell me" appeals court Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson is "very similar."
This suggests that a filibuster is unlikely, and that Bush really has asked the "advice" of some Senators. As he should.
N.Z. Bear, meanwhile, has set up a John Roberts tracking page. And there's a roundup, including links to opinions, here. More here, and here, too, from the Washington Post.
Now the real question is whether this is right -- or whether Bush leaked a false name just to make the media look bad . . . .
MORE: Here's a profile of Roberts by Jeffrey Rosen of The New Republic:
Top of his class at Harvard Law School and a former law clerk for Rehnquist, Roberts is one of the most impressive appellate lawyers around today. Liberal groups object to the fact that, in 1990, as a deputy solicitor general, Roberts signed a brief in a case involving abortion-financing that called, in a footnote, for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. But it would be absurd to Bork him for this: Overturning Roe was the Bush administration's position at the time, and Roberts, as an advocate, also represented liberal positions, arguing in favor of affirmative action, against broad protections for property rights, and on behalf of prisoners' rights. In little more than a year on the bench, he has won the respect of his liberal and conservative colleagues but has not had enough cases to develop a clear record on questions involving the Constitution in Exile.
(Probably because the "Constitution in Exile" is a myth.) But follow the link for more. Rosen's conclusion: "All in all, an extremely able lawyer whose committed conservatism seems to be leavened by a judicious temperament."
NARAL, on the other hand, doesn't like him. Its main page already includes a form letter to Senators opposing him.
The Insta-Daughter's take: "He looks pretty good for 50."
STILL MORE: Just watched Bush's intro, followed by the Leahy / Schumer response. Bush was smirking; he thinks he's got it in the bag. (Video here.) More significantly, perhaps, Leahy and Schumer looked pretty flat; they seemed to be going through the motions (video here); I don't think they believe they can stop him. That could change of course, but it's certainly how it looks now.
Here's Roberts' profile from SCOTUSblog. And check out the SCOTUSblog Supreme Court Nomination Blog for much more.
And Austin Bay has thoughts: "Word is that Roberts is 'well thought of' in DC — meaning he has social aplomb. That counts. It may not count in NY Times editorials but it will count in Senate votes. What does this mean down the road? Bet on a Roberts confirmation."
What do I think of him? Beats me. Just searched his hearing transcripts on the right to bear arms and found nothing. How is he on federalism and other limits on government power? Beats me again.
Nan Aron said she'd urge a filibuster of Roberts, but that was in the context of him being named to replace Rehnquist, if that matters.
Here's the Kos Krowd's reaction.
YEAH, STILL MORE: Reader Edward Royce emails:
"What do I think of him? Beats me. Just searched his hearing transcripts on the right to bear arms and found nothing. How is he on federalism and other limits on government power? Beats me again."
Great. O'Connor with a penis.
I'm supposed to be happy about this?
7 of the 9 Supreme Court justices were appointed by Republicans. 3 of them are acceptable, which shows you how incompetent Republicans are at choosing judges.
Frankly this conservative is completely underwhelmed.Bush might think he's got some sort of mojo going on, but if Roberts doesn't turn out to be a solid conservative, and not another O'Connor, then the GOP is screwed.
I know a lot of conservatives who have been adding up the support given, and lack of results received from the GOP. I've been asking a lot of conservatives to name which issues or agendas the GOP has come through on for conservatives.
It's a damn small list.
Sigh. F***ed by the GOP, yet again. I'm done. The GOP's donation letters go into the trash and the next time I vote might be 2008 or maybe 2010. The GOP better not expect me to give a rat's ass about them in 2006.
Hmm. I quoted this on Hugh Hewitt's show, and Hugh suggested that these concerns are misplaced. In particular he noted some evidence in opinions that Roberts takes Commerce Clause issues seriously. But this certainly illustrates that Bush has a credibility problem with the base.
Matt Margolis, meanwhile, has a roundup of blog reactions.
And, finally, here's Roger Simon's take.