Friday, July 22, 2005

In His Opinions, Nominee Favors Judicial Caution - New York Times

I'm having a lot of trouble achieving certainty regarding Bush's Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts. I've received emails requesting I write my congressman and demand he fight the nomination, or that I sign a petition against Roberts, but I haven't, because I'm not convinced he's a bad guy. I mean, he's been nominated by Bush and Bush is evil so there's a good chance he will be a horrible justice, but reading an analysis like the one in
the Times doesn't really indicate one of those terrifying Bork-style judges that are obviously going to be trouble. Organizations like MoveOn base much of their anti-Roberts arguments on stuff he did years ago as a lawyer, as though paid lawyers arguments represent their fundamental beliefs. And the most recent quote on abortion in which he says it's the accepted law of the land causes them to accuse him of flip-flopping because as a lawyer he represented the anti-abortion argument.

On the Daily Show a report the day after the nomination said, "Democrats have been upset with Bush's nominee for weeks," and that's pretty much the case. It didn't really matter who Bush nominated, all the petitions and protests were going to happen regardless. And it strikes me as pretty much a knee-jerk reaction. It also strikes me as a huge waste of time. Bush has a nominee with good credentials and no solid evidence of the sort of right-wing slant that could make him easy to challenge. Democrats are not going to spend their teensy amount of political capital fighting someone who appears to be qualified. And if Roberts were rejected, Bush would choose someone else just as bad. Remember that after stopping Bork we just wound up with the quieter but just as conservative Kennedy.

I kind of feel that, as painful as it is, and in spite of the knowledge that the Republicans would think nothing of fighting a qualified candidate for partisan reasons, I feel you have to show some respect for the process, and the president does have the right to choose a qualified respected judge for the Supreme Court. If serious evidence appears indicating Roberts is incompetent or his judgments are biased, well, I'll sign a petition, but for now I am going to just wait and see.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

the conservative mind

In an article in the New York Times on conservative efforts to influence Bush's supreme court nomation (Conservative Groups Rally Against Gonzales as Justice - New York Times), there's an intersting quote.

"'They don't need me lobbying on this stuff - they know what to do,' said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative group with close ties to the White House. 'My only recommendation is that they nominate someone who is 12 or 13 years old,' to ensure as long a conservative legacy as possible."

I don't think that's a joke. The fact is, hard-core conservatives don't care about the competence or experience of Supreme Court nominees as long as they adhere to the party line. They would be perfectly willing to throw all their support behind a 12-year-old right wing idealogue. They are scary people.