Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Just Justice?

Last week I noted that the fishing expedition of the Democrat senators for any and everything that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts might have said, written or thought in the last hundred years was foolish. It doesn’t take long to convince yourself from Supreme Court history that what a candidate has done either as an attorney or on the bench is not a reliable indicator of what they will do once ensconced on the ultimate court. While an announced ideologue might seem to presage an attempt to rewrite the Constitution, the simple fact that an individual has done work on an issue in the past, written an opinion or advisory for a client, or rendered a judgment in case law shouldn’t really be considered as indicative of future behavior.

Now, we’ve got the enigma of John Roberts. The poor ol’ progressives were all set to trash him as a knee-jerk conservative. They simply needed the evidence to cement his reputation as one of those religious right reactionaries. It would be an easy job to “Bork” him since surely there would be a lot of damning thought in his record. But, it appears from my humble “Red State” perspective that exactly as I predicted, the evidence is pointing to a judge that judges on the facts of the issue at hand. Can the past determine the future

It’s now become impossible for any but the most benighted of our Senate luminaries (think Kennedy, Leahy, Schumer here…) to seriously cast the aspersions of conservatism upon Roberts. The records that they hung their hopes on show Roberts working on a wide range of issues, serving the needs of his client rather than his own agenda. How refreshing! He’s done work for the indigent—a core constituency of the Dems. He’s done pro-bono work briefly opposing an anti-gay state constitution initiative enacted by Colorado voters. He’s defended death row inmates. In other words, he seems to be quite comfortable in following the law even when it doesn’t quite mesh with what he would like that law to be.

Can a candidate who has expressed opinions that very effectively bridge both sides of the ideological aisle possibly be opposed? Stand by to see how the Senators face this conundrum.

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