Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Another View On Roberts

Thanks to Fletcher Christian for his take on the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court of the United States was not in the least surprising. Judge Roberts is highly qualified, well-respected by his colleagues, and known for being a thoughtful jurist. Is he conservative? Of course. But did we expect this president to nominate anyone less conservative than Roberts? Only a fool would have labored under that delusion.

To those on the left who object to the nominee, I say 'tough.' Judge Roberts is not the worst person President Bush could have nominated to the Court. In fact, he is likely the best we could have hoped for given the track record of this White House.

However you feel about their politics, the men and women of this West Wing are master tacticians. They nominated the most conservative, qualified person they could find who would garner at least 50 votes in the Senate and make Senate Democrats look silly if they filibustered the nominee. This is how this White House plays every decision. They demand the absolute maximum that will garner the minimum votes necessary to win. It's no different with the case of Judge Roberts.

When the President said that he would like to nominate someone to the Court in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas, he wasn't kidding. (Thankfully, he nominated someone closer to the qualifications of Justice Scalia instead of the woefully inadequate Thomas, whose legal mind is outshone by anyone you could reach at 1-800-LAWYER.) Unless Bush or any president nominates someone to the Court who rejects the very basic precepts of America jurisprudence, that nominee will be confirmed. All one need do is look at the tiny number of Court nominees who have ever been rejected by the Senate to understand this fact. The nominee must either be mentally unfit (Washington-nominated Rutledge), wholly unqualified (Nixon-nominated Carswell), or completely contemptuous of senators (Reagan-nominated Bork) to be denied a seat on the Court.

Conservative presidents nominate conservative nominees; moderates nominate moderates, and so on. The lesson for liberals is this: win elections. When you get your man or woman in the White House, you can nominate whomever you wish. Considering that this nominee is mentally competent, well-qualified, and of a pleasant demeanor, you should make your speeches on the Senate floor, vote against him, and then watch Justice Roberts take his seat on the bench on the first Monday in October.


Blogger DL Rock said...

Gosh, I'm glad Bush nominated a man in the Scalia mode, too. (Deep sigh of relief)

4:09 PM  
Blogger Fletcher Christian said...

Dear Mr. DL Rock:

Please note that my comparison of Roberts to Scalia was based on their qualifications, not their judicial philosophy. At least President Bush, unlike his father, can stand next to this nominee and say that he is the most qualified candidate. George H.W. could not make that claim about Thomas without his own staff breaking into laughter.

Supreme Court nominations are not about whatever political point of view a person may have before they join the Court. We can all hope for a specific policy outcome, but that does not mean that there is the authority within the law to achieve that end.

A good example comes in the area of gun control. In United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S 549 (1995), the Court struck down a Federal statute that had established “gun free zones” around schools. While many might believe that possession of an unregistered firearm near a school should carry a higher penalty than if it is simply discovered in a home, the question is whether or not the Constitution allows the Congress, through its power to regulate interstate commerce, to make policy in such a matter.

Of course, a narrow view of the Commerce Clause or not seeing as broad a right to privacy in the penumbra of the Bill of Rights are all legitimate questions to ask Judge Roberts or any nominee to the Federal courts. But a narrower or broader view on these subjects cannot and will not disqualify someone for a seat on the Federal bench. Both views are well within the America jurisprudential tradition. As I pointed out, as long as the nominee is not legally insane, intellectually ill-equipped, or painfully obnoxious, that nominee will be confirmed. To apply a different standard now would go against more than 200 years of history.

This would be another example of why liberals are completely baffled by Bush in every single fight. Not only are they often on the wrong side of issues because they don't take the time to think beyond their own dogma, they almost never understand the rules of the game their playing. They're intellectually and tactically challenged. The old line that says the definition of stupidity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result applies.


Fletcher Christian
Semi-professional Mutineer

10:32 AM  

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