Bush nominates Roberts for U.S. Supreme Court

July 19, 2005

President Bush has just announced his nomination of U.S. Circuit Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court.

John G. Roberts Wikipedia entry

ABC News
Roberts is considered to be well-liked on Capitol Hill, and members of
both parties have praised him as a man who possesses a keen intellect
and a sharp legal mind.

Harry Reid’s spokesman, as reported by CNN
A spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Democratic leader, said Roberts has "suitable legal credentials."

But the spokesman, Jim Manley, added, "Now he needs to demonstrate to
the Senate that he has a commitment to core American values of freedom,
equality and fairness."

"This suggests that a filibuster is unlikely, and that Bush really has asked the "advice" of some Senators."

Unlike some possible Supreme Court (search) nominees, Roberts, 50, is considered low-key and has generally avoided weighing in on disputed social issues.

rights groups, however, have maintained that he tried during his days
as a lawyer in the first Bush administration to overturn Roe v. Wade (search), the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

did co-write a brief that stated, "We continue to believe that Roe was
wrongly decided and should be overruled." Pressed during his 2003
confirmation hearing for his own views on the matter, Roberts said:
"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."

"…Bush sold out to the radical right."

NARAL Pro-Choice America

If Roberts is confirmed to a lifetime appointment, there is little doubt that he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade.  As Deputy Solicitor General under the first President Bush, he argued to the Supreme Court that "Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled…."

The ACLU, as reported by TalkLeft
The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed deep concern
about some of the civil liberties positions advocated by Judge John
Roberts, President Bush’s choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day
O’Connor on the Supreme Court.

While serving as principal deputy solicitor general from 1989-1993,
he authored briefs calling for Roe v. Wade to be overruled, supporting
graduation prayer, and seeking to criminalize flag burning as a form of
political protest.

Brainster’s Blog
Well, after all the grumbling early this afternoon about the
possibility that Edith Clement would be the choice, Bush comes up with
a pick (John Roberts) that is already delighting his base.

Captain’s Quarters (who has a lot more comments from others as well)
Hey, this might be a two-fer: a conservative justice and a member of the CheneyChimpyMcHalliburtEnron conspiracy!

Drudgereport (He likes using all caps)

Michelle Malkin has lots of info.

Right Wing News
Yes, yes, yes! Bush came through in the clutch with a great candidate!

Good choice…
Let the dishonest attacks begin.
We’re ready.

By all appearances Roberts is an extremely solid choice – acceptable to
Republicans as well as Democrats, and the word in DC is he will have no problem
being confirmed.

IL Senator Dick Durbin as reported by TalkLeft
The President had an opportunity to unite the country with his Supreme
Court nomination, to nominate an individual in the image of Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor. Instead, by putting
forward John Roberts’ name, President Bush has chosen a more
controversial nominee and guaranteed a more controversial confirmation

Paul, at Powerline, recalling some of his previous comments
Roberts is also quite bright and strongly conservative. He
lacks the long judicial track record, but that is a plus in one sense
— it may make it more difficult to claim "extraordinary circumstance"
in a way that passes the straight-face test for Graham, DeWine, etc.
(trust me, though; Roberts is not at all Souter-like). In addition, the
Senate recently confirmed Roberts. This (a) makes it difficult credibly
to claim extraordinary circumstances and (b) suggests his strength as a
nominee, since he got through prior to "the deal" when the sledding was
tough. Indeed, given Roberts’ middle age movie star looks and
considerable charm, he’s not a good prospect for a "Borking," though
the Democrats nonetheless will give it a shot.

Dan Drezner, reporting the comments of Jeffrey Rosen
Listening to NPR, Jeffrey Rosen says that while no Supreme Court nominee is a slam dunk, this is pretty "dunky."

Text from Roberts’ 2003 confirmation hearing.

Citizen Smash, the Indepundit
Looks like we’ll see a big nomination fight this summer, after all.
Nice head fake, George.

Aaron at Blue State Conservatives (slightly different from his initial reaction)
My view is that Roberts will be confirmed and probably easier than most
people think. Expect only the hard left (Boxer, Kennedy, etc.) to go
after Roberts with lots of dirt. My guess is he is approved with 60 to
65 votes.

Peter Robinson at NRO’s Corner
A couple of decades
ago in the Reagan White House, John Roberts and I had adjoining
offices, and we’ve kept in touch, in a desultory way, ever since. What
can I tell you about him? That he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve ever
met. Devout but light-hearted, a devoted husband, and the doting father
of two adopted children. And so thoroughly modest that I had no idea of
his reputation for brilliance within the legal community–I’d supposed
he was a pretty good lawyer, but knew no more–until the President
nominated John to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

We’ll all have to
wait for the slicing and dicing of John’s legal work to form views of
his judicial philosophy, but I can tell you from personal knowledge
that what we have here is a thoroughly marvelous human being.

People for the American Way
“It is extremely disappointing that the President did not choose a
consensus nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O’Connor,” said Neas. “John
Roberts’ record raises serious concerns and questions about where he
stands on crucial legal and constitutional issues – it will be critical
for Senators and the American people to get answers to those questions.
Replacing O’Connor with someone who is not committed to upholding
Americans’ rights, liberties, and legal protections would be a
constitutional catastrophe.”

Hugh Hewitt
Judge John Roberts may be the smartest lawyer I have known, and he combines that intellect with a graciousness and good
humor that will make it hard for any except the most
extreme ideolouges to oppose him.

Daily Kos
Fair enough. I’m willing to hear the guy out. We’re not going to get a Ginsburg,
but I’d be happy with an O’Connor-style moderate conservative. For all we know
(and for all the religious-right knows), Roberts might be that sort of guy.

John Hinderaker at PowerLine
It didn’t matter whom President Bush nominated. The Democrats were
poised to attack, and they would have unleashed whatever ammunition
they could muster regardless of who the nominee was. "People for the
American Way" and other extreme-left groups were faxing out packets of
attack materials on John Roberts within minutes after his nomination
was announced.

So: what have they got?  The short answer is, little or nothing.


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