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July 19, 2005


Greg Kuperberg


I don't see that this nomination is so cut and dried. Roberts looks like a shrewd choice. Just because he argued A, B, or C as a solicitor, that doesn't mean that he would write exactly the same opinions as a Justice. Likewise his court rulings cited by ABC hinge on technical questions like jurisdiction, and also don't quite prove that he's a Neanderthal.

That said, "shrewd" is not the same as "benevolent". Bush obviously trusts Roberts, and that could either be for acceptable reasons, or for terrible reasons. Maybe Roberts' intelligence will translate to judicial wisdom; or maybe Republican ideology will poison his brain.


Look at this Law.com article. Money quote:

...those who know Roberts say he, unlike Souter, is a reliable conservative who can be counted on to undermine if not immediately overturn liberal landmarks like abortion rights and affirmative action. Indicators of his true stripes cited by friends include: clerking for Rehnquist, membership in the Federalist Society, laboring in the Ronald Reagan White House counsel's office and at the Justice Department into the Bush years, working with Kenneth Starr among others, and even his lunchtime conversations at Hogan & Hartson. "He is as conservative as you can get," one friend puts it. In short, Roberts may combine the stealth appeal of Souter with the unwavering ideology of Scalia and Thomas.

As for the ABC decisions, I don't think that supporting a flag amendment is a jurisdictional issue. The Operation Rescue thing was a conflict over whether preventing women from going to a doctor discriminated against women (Roberts said no, predictably). The 12-year-old case was a matter of whether or not her 4th or 5th amendment rights were violated. Judging as the due process clause allows abortion and gay sex, I would say that it allows one to eat French fries.

Greg Kuperberg

Well, maybe you are right.


I think this may be the first time I won an argument with you.

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