Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oh Johnny Boy...

As a result of my continuing struggle with insomnia, I've had the wonderful opportunity to watch John Roberts' confirmation hearing. I'm impressed with Judge Roberts. He's well spoken, thoughtful and humble. I'm not impressed with conservative and liberal senators on the judicial committee.

Each member steps onto their soap box and prattles on about their opinions about abortion, checks and balances, separation of church and state and so on. After expelling their verbal diarrhea, they finally ask Judge Roberts for his opinion. His typical response is, "Well, that issue may come before the court so I must decline to answer."

Liberal members of the committee are often frustrated by such responses. Why? I would be upset if Roberts did indulge us with his personal opinions. He is being evaluated on his ability to remain impartial, right? If that's the case, he's won me over.

Don't get me wrong, I lean to the left. Of course I strongly support a woman's right to choose. Still, I want a justice to evaluate cases free from personal preference. It's clear to me that Roberts will do just that.

Where do you stand on the matter? Should Roberts disclose his political leanings and thoughts about specific cases?


Blogger Megan said...

A judge must always be impartial. Whatever he personally believes is completely irrelevant.

I like that he does not seem to be using this to push his own personal agendas.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

I am more (classically) liberal than conservative, saving my conservatism for economics and government intervention. Still, the uproar over Roberts isn't reall much of an uproar. The second round will be much more fun. We're trading one conservative for another.

What I find hysterical (and I do mean hysterical) is the predictions that the Constitution is on the brink of evisceration. Last time I looked, there were still 9 judges. Last time I looked, a "conservative" was president (you know, the guy who gets to nominates judges) and there was a Republican majority in the Senate, which has the role to advise and consent, not moan and bitch.

I find the lauding of Roberts' intellect to be crocodile cheers (hey that's good--you can't use it, V). Yeah, he's a smart'un, that John. So what? It's the first thing every one of his critics start out with, just before the big "but."

My take is that he'll be acceptable and possibly influential, not the least because he's so young.

Wait until Bush nominates Edith Clement or Janice Brown for O'Connor's seat (which might be further down the road than most think). Then watch the fur fly.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Jimbobb2 said...

There's little on TV nowadays so it's been entertaining watching such intellectually stunted senators as Kennedy get a big ol' can of ass-whup opened up on them. Kennedy could barely read the notes his staff had prepared for him, stumbling and bumbling over pronunciation and punctuation. It was all fun to watch but a bit unfair and one-sided...there were at least a dozen hard core senators gunning for him with all they had and there was just him alone, no notes, no teleprompter, no staff behind him...a grossly lopsided event. They were severely outnumbered, those senators. He could have won that tag-team bout with half his brain tied behind his back.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

No, he should not. And, if Senator Biden remembers, he told Ruth Bader Ginsburg not to divulge her opinions during her confirmation hearings in 1993.

Now that he's on the other side, he is suddenly frustrated. Here's his quote:

"[Y]ou not only have a right to choose what you will answer and not answer, but in my view you should not answer a question of what your view will be on an issue that clearly is going to come before the Court in 50 different forms, probably, over the next -- over your tenure on the Court."

Hello, Joe. Is anyone home?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:06 PM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

I've thought about this a lot. I think that if I told people openly that I was for this and that, I would be making campaign promises. Currently, I don't know anyone on the federal level that has abided by all of their campaign promises. It also makes the Supreme Court an elected position as their views are picked apart to appease one party or the other. I think Roberts is one of the sharpest knives in the drawer and has shown openmindedness by being a willing advocate for both sides of the aisle.

Overall, I just worry about people pushing for an insight into personal leanings thinking that it will create predictability in a candidates vote. Because we sure know that worked with Supreme Court Associate Justice Souter.

6:59 PM  
Blogger CafeCath said...

Judge Roberts has passed through this process with integrity, grace and an ever-present cool head (which I would find tough to do given the goofy sorts he's faced the last couple of weeks). He's been by the book -- impartial and sparing his personal beliefs.

While I've been impressed, I find myself smiling at the soon-to-be-chief since I saw a post that pointed out Judge Roberts striking resemblance to Otto in the movie "Airplane". (Check it out at Absolute Wisdom.)

9:24 PM  
Blogger Raine said...

I've been doing a lot of "desk work" this week and so have been able to listen to the hearings on NPR. And, yup, there's been a lot of "verbal diarrhea" from Schumer and Biden, and what's with Feinstein's antagonism towards Catholics?! So very 1960s of her.

Check out David Brooks's hysterical satirization of the hearings:

12:05 AM  
Blogger dusty said...

I worry about his lack of experience. He has only been a Judge for roughly a year and a half..that is ridiculous. Hiring an inept person to run FEMA is one thing, putting an inexperienced judge in the head jurist seat for the rest of his life is totally different.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Richard Tedrow said...

Unfortunately, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." Given the ongoing demonstration of the nature of those who most likely selected Judge Roberts for nomination, one would want to eat that pudding with the proverbial "long spoon."

5:36 AM  

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