Monday, September 19, 2005

One Cheer for Roberts

Senator Moose would vote to confirm Roberts.*

The Moose knew of Judges Bork, Thomas and Scalia, although he was not their friend. And John Roberts is no Bork, Thomas or Scalia. Roberts has shown that he is no originalist extremist. He is apparently respectful of precedent. He has a modestly expansionist view of the commerce clause - he does not view the welfare state as unconstitutional. And he acknowledges a right to privacy. In sum, Roberts is a conventional conservative not a right wing revolutionary jurist.

People for the American Way knows this. The American people know this. The Family Research Council knows this. Ted Kennedy knows this. Sam Brownback knows this. And they will all take their predictable side on the question of his confirmation.

John Roberts is not the Moose's cup of tea. He will undoubtedly be far too deferential to corporate power. But, alas, his candidate for the Presidency lost. And one of the consequences of an election is that the winner chooses Supreme Court vacancies. The view from this bench is that the President gets the benefit of the doubt on nominations - elections have consequences. Make no mistake - the vacancy will be filled and Roberts is the best we will get from this President.

Roberts receives only one cheer if that because he is a confirmation wimp, like so many other previous nominees. It was a sad spectacle to watch him dodge and weave fundamental questions about his intellectual world view - intellectual evasion in the pursuit of careerism. Honesty was the first casualty of the Bork imbroglio. One would think that conservatives, in particular, would want to be apprised of the views of an individual that will serve on the least-democratic branch of government.

Probably, the majority of the Democratic Senators will oppose Roberts. That is tactically unfortunate because their opposition will have less resonance if the President truly nominates an extremist for the O'Connor vacancy - the donkey crying wolf syndrome. Is the Democratic Party merely the sum of its interest groups? It is not unlikely that a large number of Democrats prefer controversial issues such as gay marriage and the pledge of allegiance to be resolved in the legislative process rather than be circumvented by judicial fiat.

Sometimes, an opposition has to dare to say "yea".

* The Moose (as always) is speaking only for himself, and not for any other organization, entity or wild mammal.
-- Posted at 8:15 AM | Link to this post | Email this post