Friday, July 22, 2005

Roberts Nomination

In Pursuit of Conservative Stamp, President Nominates Roberts - New York Times

With the resignation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and President Bush's nomination of Judge John G. Roberts, the country is now in for at least several weeks of politicized debate over his qualifications and- seemingly more important- his personal politics.

I don't think there is any question that Judge Roberts is qualified for the position of Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. Graduated summa cum laude from Harvard, magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Clerked for Judge Henry Friendly and for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist. Worked at a respected Washington law firm for many years, served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General under George H.W. Bush. Presently a judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals. By all accounts, a kind, funny, and intelligent man. If qualifications were all that counted, Judge Roberts would probably already have been confirmed.

But in Washington, your politics are everything. The appointment of Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court would very probably shift the balance of the Court for the next thirty or so years- and it would, most likely, shift it right, because Judge Roberts is most definitely a conservative. Republican senators are applauding President Bush's choice of Roberts. Democrats are being very cautious, although he has not met with any serious opposition in the Senate yet. They seem to be reserving judgement until after he has been questioned more solidly. Democratic senators are saying that he will probably not meet with a filibuster, because he is not as extremist as some feared the nominee would be.

For the time being, I personally feel that, although I wish President Bush had picked a more defined moderate to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, Judge Roberts was not a bad choice. I like the fact that he believes that judges and justices should keep politics off the bench, and I like how he plays by the law. He seems highly qualified for the post. I know that I may change my opinion as Judge Roberts goes through the process of confirmation, but I think- I hope- I pray that the Senate will give him a fair trial- that the Democrats will continue to be objective until they have examined the evidence, and that the Republicans will not give him a free pass to a lifetime seat on the Court. May the democratic process prevail.

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