Wednesday, July 20, 2005

And the Winner Is....John Roberts

About the choice of John Roberts as the next Supreme Court justice: I was a little thrown off balance since all the rumors were about Circuit Judge Edith Roberts. At first glance, it seems that Roberts is a conservative, but not the ideologue that the far right wants and not in the mold of Antonin Scalia. Contrary to what the left thinks, I don't think being a conservative is a bad thing. What matters to me is that any justice thinks about the cases brought before him or her and decides based on the facts and not what is the most ideological opinion. We have in Roberts a legal mind that has recieved a very acceptable rating from the American Bar Association.

Was this the choice I would have wanted as a centrist Republican? No. But as Jeremy over at Charging RINO said in a post this morning, it could have been worse. The President could have picked someone that is an indeological firebrand that would have assured a nomination fight in the Senate such as Bill Pryor. Bush didn't do that. He picked someone who as Jeremy said will raise the level of intellectual discourse in the High Court. Rogers has a lot of Democratic and liberal friends, so this might blunt any effort by the left to slow or block hid nomination. It is troubling, in my view that he signed on to an opinion as deputy solicitor general under Bush I where he said that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. However, working in a legal environment for a year, I am aware that as a lawyer he was representing a client that didn't support Roe. In short, it doesn't give a whole view of his outlook on abortion rights.

I'm also disturbed by how some groups on the left and right have already made their judgement on Rogers. The Human Rights Campiagn, NARAL, and People for the American Way have already issued screaming press releases. On the far right, we are seeing predictable support from the likes of the Family Research Council, the Christian Coalition, and the American Family Association have all come out in favor of Roberts. I think both sides are jumping the gun. We don't really know much about Roberts yet and it would be better to hold judgement until we get the full story as confirmation hearings begin.

I did also check some Centrist Republican groups such as Log Cabin Republicans, and Republican Majority for Choice have issued more cautious statements, which I think is the right approach right now.

On the surface, a good pick. But like many, I will be listening to the confirmation hearings to listen to what Rogers has to say. I'm hoping for a more pragmatic conservative, but only time will tell.


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