Wednesday, July 20, 2005


The stealth nominee

Talk show host Jay Severin has taken to calling John Roberts a "stealth nominee," by which he means that the nominee has relatively few (~50) opinions authored in his name. This leads to the situation in which one cannot really guess how he might respond to reproductive rights question before him. On the one hand, he has said that

"Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."
But that comment was not made in the context of a legal decision. Alternatively, as Solicitor General for the U.S. Solicitor General under President Reagan, he apparantly argued against reporductive rights. Some have discounted that statement as an example of a lawyer arguing on behalf of his client. The truth is that Roberts is a relatively unknown quality (although I tend to side with those who feel he would be fairly conservative).

I would characterize his nomination as an interesting bet. President Bush has bet that

I really don't know what to expect from the confirmation process, but from what I have read, it seems a good bet that it will be from the Alberto Gonzales mold: No filibuster, lots of pointed questions, ultimately a succesful nomination.

As always, thanks for reading.

I was listeing to some commentators today who reminded me that lawyers do choose - to some extent - their clients. Mr. Roberts most assuredly did not have to go and work for the Reagan administration as he did. This argues heavily for a view of him as an activist right-wing judge.

On the other hand, these commentators also pointed out that most judges tend to move to the center, once they find themselves on the Supreme Court.

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