Wednesday, July 20, 2005


John Roberts Nominated for Supreme Court

Yep, it's official: Bush has nominated a judge to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. (Not bad -- SDO'C announced her resignation, subject to a successor being approved, on July 1st.)

And, after endless speculation, the nominee is...

...John Roberts, of the D.C. Court of Appeals.

I haven't written much about this, frankly, because I have little to say. I've been going to PowerLine for info, among other places -- who better to ask about lawyers than another lawyer?

I've been getting frantic e-mails from Planned Parenthood ("Act Now! We can still save Roe v. Wade!"), starting about half an hour after Bush's announcement last night. Frankly, I'm not convinced. Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a serious undertaking under any circumstances, so it's by no means certain that it would even be attempted; besides, we have more serious things to worry about right now, don't we? (And, I must admit, I'm far from convinced that overturning Roe v. Wade would necessarily be a bad thing. I've read some convincing arguments that Roe v. Wade was precisely the catalyst for the Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice battles we've been fighting for the last thirty years. Sending abortion rights back to the states would by no means be a bad thing, and it certainly wouldn't be the End Of The World As We Know It... which is how Planned Parenthood talks about it.)

And I have to say that I'm sick of judicial attempts, successful or not, to legislate from the bench. That's not their job. (Remember, I live in Massachusetts... where gay marriage was legalized from the bench, not by the State Legislature. We can argue some other time about what a great thing gay marriage is; I still feel that this was not the way to do it.) So if John Roberts lives up to his billing as a constructionist -- one who will interpret the Constitution as written, rather than trying to see new things in it if you hold it up to the light just right -- then I'll be happy.

In the meantime, I stand by my feeling that, in the long run, nobody knows what a Supreme Court Justice will do after ten years on the bench! As too many bloggers have pointed out, Justice O'Connor, a semi-consistent liberal voice, was appointed by Reagan, and so on. We can pick candidates apart carefully, analyzing every last nuance of what they have said and not said... but in the end, people do change, and we have no control over that.

So I refuse to get too worked up over this. The Republicans seem confident that they can get Roberts approved by the Senate; good, I'm tired of filibusters too. (I'm especially tired of wishy-washy "filibusters" during which people go home and business continues to be conducted. If you hate what's going on enough to filibuster, I think, you should go ahead and do it the old-fashioned way.)

And if we wind up with a Justice Roberts, well, we'll see in due course of time what sort of Justice he is. I'll wait.

UPDATE: Of course, some people are much more intensely involved than I am. Perhaps too involved...


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