Wednesday, July 20, 2005So John Roberts is Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court. Yeah, like we needed another rich white guy on the Court. They're such an oppressed minority, y'know.
(This is a real blunder on Bush's part - if he'd nominated a woman or minority he might be able to put on more pressure, but with this nominee allows us to focus on the issues)
Roberts is part of the D.C. establishment and has a very thin paper trail - he's only been a judge for two years - so it will be very difficult to block his confirmation. The NYT and the Washington Post have been pretty generous to his candidacy so far, given the tone of the coverage. NARAL has come out blasting (via Pandagon) on his suggestion that Roe be overturned. In the latter case he was working for the Solicitor General's office, and it has been argued that this might not reflect his true views. In the 2003 confirmation hearings he said that Roe was the "settled law of the land," but we all know what confirmation promises are worth.
What has this guy done as a judge? There are a couple of decisions that stand out. According to Moveon, he has questioned the validity of the Endangered Species Act as a violation of property rights. He has also argued that the Geneva Conventions don't always apply. So we have Alberto Gonzales junior. Wonderful.
I have two very simple arguments as to why Roberts should be opposed. The first is that he is a Republican partisan (as noted by MyDD and Digby). He worked for the Bushies during the Bush v. Gore decision, one of the worst travesties of law in American history, and for that alone he deserves to be barred from the court.
The second is his background. This man is a son of privilege who has never had to do a day of work in his life. His daddy was a corporate executive, and Roberts went to all the best schools en route to a job at the White House, followed by a lucrative stint at a corporate law firm. In other words, John Roberts is a man who has had everything handed to him on a silver platter, who has never had to struggle or suffer to survive. And I just don't want someone like that being the guardian of the Republic.
Having said all that, I think that the best strategic move by the Democrats is to use his very quality as a stealth nominee against him. He is inexperienced, with no major accomplishments as a jurist. All of his positions have come from political patronage and family connections. Why does Bush want this man on the court in light of his shallow credentials? Why a judge with less than two years on the bench? For a man with so little to indicate his capabilities or preferences, it is incumbent on the Senate to probe him with the greatest scrutiny before we appoint him to the highest court in the land.