I am sorry, but from what I have seen so far, the Democrats are just going to have to do better before they convince me that John Roberts is a bad choice. he seems like a decent man, well-liked, a fair individual, and not the sort of crazed fire-breathing ideologue that might have given me the vapors. In short, they are going to have to do better than Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, did last night:
CARLSON: You all issued a statement today calling Roberts‘ selection, quote, “an unsuitable choice,” on the basis of what did you say that?
KEENAN: Well, absolutely. I think you have to take a look at what he has written in the past and that he had indicated that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. And when 65 percent of the American public said they want to know where the nominee stands, and they want that nominee to uphold Roe, then the American public are very clear, that this is one gentleman that might not do that.
CARLSON: But that was not at all what happened, actually. He was working on behalf of the federal government arguing its case. He was in the Solicitor General‘s Office in a Republican administration. If I worked for the Transportation Department and our policy is to wear your seat belt, it doesn‘t mean I am for seat belt use, I work for an administration whose policy is, if you see the distinction.
KEENAN: Well, but he was a lawyer for this administration, and he wrote those briefs. I mean, I wouldn‘t go to work for George Bush if I wasn‘t in concert with their beliefs.
CARLSON: that‘s because you are the president of NARAL, you‘re an abortion lobbyist. But for many people abortion is but one of many issues, and they can agree to disagree. Bush is—the president himself is surrounded by pro-choice people, almost every woman in his orbit, almost all his female cabinet secretaries, pro-choice, but he is not, if you see what I mean.
KEENAN: Tucker, look, we have Operation Rescue tonight endorsing him. We have Jay Sekulow endorsing tonight. That tells the American people that this is not moderate nominee.
A pretty weak performance, wholly unconvincing, and one most people will be inclined to dismiss. And if we are to judge a nominee by who supports and opposes him/her, we should probably examine this Coulter piece:
After pretending to consider various women and minorities for the Supreme Court these past few weeks, President Bush decided to disappoint all the groups he had just ginned up and nominate a white male.
So all we know about him for sure is that he can’t dance and he probably doesn’t know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah…we also know he’s argued cases before the supreme court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney.
But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.
Since the announcement, court-watchers have been like the old Kremlinologists from Soviet days looking for clues as to what kind of justice Roberts will be. Will he let us vote?
Does he live in a small, rough-hewn cabin in the woods of New Hampshire and avoid “women folk”?
Does he trust democracy? Or will he make all the important decisions for us and call them “constitutional rights.”
It means absolutely nothing that NARAL and Planned Parenthood attack him: They also attacked Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Hackett Souter.
The only way a supreme court nominee could win the approval of NARAL and Planned Parenthood would be to actually perform an abortion during his confirmation hearing, live, on camera, and preferably a partial birth one.
So far, NARAL is pissed because they think he might rule against Roe, and Ann Coulter is peeved becuase he may not. Fabulous. This sense of entitlement from everyone is really starting to piss me off, but particularly from the left. You lost the election. You are not going to like anyone the President nominates. The best you can hope for is someone who is fair, and you aren’t even guaranteed that. There is, despite what Rachel Maddow may want, no quota system for the Supreme Court. The President, as far as I can tell, appointed a strong conservative nominee. Not a moderate, not a liberal, but a strong conservative. Just like he said he would during both campaigns, and just like those who voted for him expected he would.
Meanwhile, some internet activists are trying to create their own talking points for the confirmation process, and Americablog leads the charge:
The more I read and the more I hear about Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, the more this guy sounds like a partisan hack. His experience is in politics, partisan politics, it’s not being a judge. Hell, he’s only been a judge for 2 years. That’s hardly the kind of experience that prepares you to be a Supreme Court justice. What Roberts has experience in is being a partisan political operative, the very thing you don’t want on the Supreme Court.
I wonder who Thurgood Marshall voted for? At any rate, that just got the ball rolling, and MYDD takes over:
Roberts is a DC partisan political insider hack operative Republican. He’s basically a politician that, because he lives in DC, cannot run for office anywhere, so he’s become a political Judge instead, fighting to institutionalize the Republican Party within the Federal branch of the government. There’s no doubt about it; but that also makes him likely to be confirmed. DC is a Republican entity.
So there you have it. The biggest complaints from the left seem to be that he may overturn Roe, and that he is a partisan. That really appears to be all they have, and it might be why Schumer and Leahy so clearly looked like they were going through the motions. Put up enough opposition to make it look like we are fighting, but realize the situation is futile. You have seen the end of the Wild Bunch, haven’t you?
No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation. A twelve-year-old girl was arrested, searched, and handcuffed. Her shoelaces were removed, and she was transported in the windowless rear compartment of a police vehicle to a juvenile processing center, where she was booked, fingerprinted, and detained until released to her mother some three hours later — all for eating a single french fry in a Metrorail station. The child was frightened, embarrassed, and crying throughout the ordeal. The district court described the policies that led to her arrest as “foolish,” and indeed the policies were changed after those responsible endured the sort of publicity reserved for adults who make young girls cry. The question before us, however, is not whether these policies were a bad idea, but whether they violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. Like the district court, we conclude that they did not, and accordingly we affirm.
That is what some may recognize as demonstrating a clear understanding of the role of the courts. I can live with that. Liberals can live with that. It is the type of temperament that should be required of all judicial nominees. Tony Perkins, someone I relentlessly monitor and scrutinize and almost never agree with, has it exactly right:
PERKINS: Well, based upon the arguments that he has made, some of the things that he has written, he has argued 39 times before the United States Supreme Court, so clearly this man is very well qualified. You look at his academic background, you look at his experience, and he is by far a top pick for the president.
And it‘s very important that you note in his opinions, and also in his positions that he has taken, he understands the role of the court. And I think that is what is at the heart of this matter, not that we are going to see a quote-unquote “conservative activist” on the court. That‘s not what we are looking for. We are looking for someone who understands the boundaries of the court and respects the role of the legislature as the body that creates public policy.
If that is the true measure of the man, and that is his judicial philosophy, that is acceptable. Scratch that. That is exceptional. I understand that my friends on the left are going to argue that this means he wants to overturn Roe, and I understand that there will be contentious battles about the impact this wil have on established law, but I agree with the basic philosophy. Perkins continues:
Well, I want a Supreme Court justice who will, when a state passes a law, like we did in my home state of Louisiana, when I served there in the legislature, that says partial birth abortion is against the law in our state, or other restrictions abortion, that when it‘s challenged in court and ultimately makes its way to the Supreme Court, that you have a justice there that looks at the facts of the case and realizes that under the Constitution, the state has the right to make those decisions.
That‘s how I see these issues being resolved, not by an activist court legislating in our direction, creating public policy, but by recognizing the proper role of the legislature to do that.
Again, some may claim that this is ressurecting the ‘discredited, state’s rights theories,’ but if nine justices that adhered to that philosophy had been in place when Kelo was decided, I think we all would have liked the outcome a bit more. I think most of us would appreciate the decision a court like that would come to in the recent California medical marijuana case.
Finally, let’s look to what Jeralynn Merritt has to say on the nominee:
I think it’s too soon to start opposing Judge John G. Roberts. Most of us knew nothing about him before tonight. He’s only been a Judge for two years. Before that he was deputy solicitor general. The legal arguments he made while working for the Government or as a corporate lawyer may or may not reflect his personal values, or how he would rule as a Supreme Court Justice.
I’d like to know more about him before I make up my mind. I don’t think it helps that liberal groups are coming out swinging so soon. It has the appearance that they would oppose anyone Bush would nominate.
It’s obvious we’re going to get a conservative Supreme Court nominee. Bush is President and the Senate is Republican-dominated. For now, I’m just happy it wasn’t a rabid right-winger like Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, Edith Jones (not to be confused with Edith Clement, who probably would have been okay,) Ted Olson or one of the Fourth Circuit judges that were reportedly under consideration.
That makes too much damn sense for a blog post.