Tuesday, September 06, 2005So Bush has decided to nominate Roberts for Supreme Court Chief Justice. The Washington Post, meanwhile, has continued to carry water for him by describing him as an advocate of judicial restraint.
I can think of 3 responses to the new Roberts nomination:
1) It's absurd to nominate a man with 2 years of judicial experience to Chief Justice of the country's highest court. Bush just can't be serious. We should dismiss the idea and move on.
2) The fact that Bush has nominated Roberts demonstrates the level of competence he is currently displaying with regard to the New Orleans fiasco. This administration has brought us failure in Iraq, the longest period of slow growth in American history, murdered thousands along the Gulf through neglect and disinterest, and now is putting cyphers in charge of our civil liberties.
3) This man's views are strange and cultish. His argument doesn't seem to be with liberalism but with the 20th century. The Post can say what it likes, but when its own headlines proclaim that Roberts was "influenced by critics of the Warren Court" we should all sit up and take notice. That was the court that established meaningful individual rights for millions of Americans. To attack it is to attack liberty itself. And Roberts' so-called "judicial restraint" only seems to apply to regulations on corporations. He never hesitated to argue for judicial activism when he use the court's power to gut environmental or civil rights laws.
Those who say that we can't invoke ideology when evaluating a judge don't really mean what they say. If there was a judge of great experience and insight who was an avowed Communist or NAZI, would he consider him acceptable to the bench? Of course not. Well Roberts' views about civil rights, executive power, corporate autonomy, and the environment are equally radical. You might say " well millions of Americans and the President himself hold those opinions, how bizarre can they be?" To which I would respond: so much the worse for us. Lots of well-meaning Germans voted for Hitler, and many respectable southerners supported George Wallace and Strom Thurmond. Just because a lot of people and major political figures believe something doesn't make those beliefs okay.