Monday, September 05, 2005

Roberts

I've recently been hired for the point/counter-point section of the Michigan Tech Lode. As it's name suggests, an issue is chosen and the other fellow and myself grab a side and argue. It's safe to assume I play the conservative pundit. This week, I defended Bush against his accusers. I'll post my column Wednesday--when the paper comes out. Until then, there is a smaller problem to deal with.

William Rehnquist died over the weekend. The Chief Justice was a throw-back to the days when the Constitution actually mattered. Conservatives, and indeed, all Americans should be a little sad with the passing of the great man.

Bush, in what can only be construed as an attempt to placate no one, has nominated Roberts for chief justice. When Roberts was nominated, I was thrilled, but skepticism has been growing. Many conservatives, most notably Ann Coulter, have expressed reservations over Roberts. Since the guy shares my religion, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Then again, JFK was a Catholic, too.

President Bush on Monday nominated John Roberts to succeed William H. Rehnquist as chief justice and called on the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court opens its fall term on Oct. 3. Just 50 years old, Roberts could shape the court for decades to come.

His age is one thing that frightens me just a wee bit. We know where Scalia and Thomas stand. Bush's move is a snub to them for their years of service. No surprise there, though. Being a legitimate conservative has always been a thankless job.

Getting a new chief justice of Bush's choosing in place quickly also avoids the scenario of having liberal Justice John Paul Stevens making the decisions about whom to assign cases to and making other decisions that could influence court deliberations. As the court's senior justice, Stevens would take over Rehnquist's administrative duties until a new chief is confirmed.

It's more than that though. Bush has the votes to get Roberts through. Roberts is either a closet conservative or a moderate in the tradition of O'Connor. Aside from Chuck Schumer and a couple of fringe groups like People for the American Way and MoveOn.org, opposition to Roberts has been almost non-existent. Raising the stakes by making Roberts chief justice is a safe move.

That's probably why I disagree with it. It's unfortunate that playing empire in Iraq has butchered Bush's approval ratings to the point where he can't even nominate Scalia for the job he deserves, but such is the game in Washington.

It makes sense for Bush to nominate two justices instead of the three--if Scalia was elevated to chief justice for example. As long as he comes through with a strict constuctionalist for O'Connor's seat I, and what's left of the conservative movement, will get off his back. My guess, though, is that he'll go with the spineless Gonzales.

In retrospect with regards to the newpaper job, defending Mr. Bush could prove to be more difficult than I thought.

4 comments:

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Regular Ron said...

WMTI...This going to get Uggggly. Especialy with him being appointed to Cheif. I'd rather have Scalia up there, because he's the only one that practices true conservatism on the bench. As well as Thomas. Besides, Scalia's stance on the medical pot/states rights issue, I think he'd be a better choice

RR

troutsky said...

In the same way the neocon invasion of Iraq played into bin Laden's hands Bush's nomination of ideologues plays right into the hands of revolutionaries such as myself. The working class can only take so much. Incredible the ineptness of these people, especially considering the huge corporations they run. Good luck at the debates.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I really don't think it's going to get that ugly RR. Not on Roberts anyway. If it would have been Scalia, maybe. For some reason I'm just feeling optimistic. Weird I know.

Troutsky, I don't see what you have to fear with a genuinely conservative court. Seems to me most of the rulings that have infringed on liberty have come down from the leftmost members of the court.

I could be wrong, but I don't think we'll see a whole lot of change with Roberts. For the record, I think we could go for a revolution though I do no think we'd agree on what to revolt over.