Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Update on Judge Roberts

After spending time reading a little more about Judge Roberts, I'm not as excited as I was, but I'm still optimistic.

A lot of the doubt I see in the blogosphere relates to Roberts' short tenure as a judge — and thus, the relatively limited sources for determining his "judicial temperament." I don't think you can make much of a determination from his role as Solicitor General under Bush 41 — like any lawyer, he was arguing the perspective of his client, the United States government.

Because of those limited sources, some people are afraid Roberts will turn out to be another David Souter, about whom right-leaning folk supposedly swore up and down that he would be a solid conservative. (I was barely out of my teens at that point, didn't pay near as much attention to politics, and was also closer in my politics to Ginsburg than Souter, so I don't remember much about those SCOTUS appointees.) This will have to play out as the interest groups dig deep into Roberts' record; however, they already did most of that for Roberts' confirmation hearings for the DC Circuit Court, so other than the last two years on that court, I'm not sure there's anything else to find.

Of course, if Democrats hadn't played games with his nomination, Roberts would have been confirmed to the DC Circuit when Bush 41 nominated him in 1992, and there would have been plenty of information for Democrats to chew on.

The fact that internet opinion on Roberts is all over the map makes me a bit nervous, but here's my take for now: Roberts is a "mainstream" conservative, which may not be as conservative as I'd like, but is certainly better than O'Connor. The Kool-Aid drinking left will attempt to destroy him, but they'd do that with any nominee; watch for the double-standard of whining when Roberts declines to answer some questions, even though Ruth Bader Ginsburg did the exact same thing (with Democrat approval) in 1993. The mainstream left will realize Roberts is not a flame-throwing, right-wing Ted Kennedy, and will reluctantly approve him, and I think that's part of Bush's plan. He's going to have at least one more SCOTUS nomination, and if he can nominate a solid conservative to replace the middle-of-the-road O'Connor, satisfy the conservative base and keep from ticking off the left, he will have some nomination capital left for the next Supreme Court battle.

I hope.


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