Hold onto your hats - Bush announces his pick for SC Justice.

  Well, according to CNN it appears as if Bush is going to bow to the pressure of the Christian Right and nominate a hardline anti-abortionist to the bench.

President Bush will select U.S. Circuit Judge John Roberts Jr. to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the nation’s highest court, CNN has learned.

Two sources, including a Senate Judiciary Committee source, said Roberts will be Bush’s choice when the president makes a formal announcement in a nationwide address at 9 p.m. ET.

  Check out this bald-faced lie from the same article.

Bush, he (Specter) said, should be able to stand “above the fray” and make an appointment that would be “in the national interest”—not because he was “beholden to any group, no matter how much they contributed to his election.”

  Now for the “read and weep” part.  The following information was taken from the Independent Judiciary website.


Reproductive Rights. s a Deputy Solicitor General, Mr. Roberts co-wrote a Supreme Court brief in Rust v. Sullivan,1 for the first Bush administration, which argued that the government could prohibit doctors in federally-funded family planning programs from discussing abortions with their patients. The brief not only argued that the regulations were constitutional, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, but it also made the broader argument that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided – an argument unnecessary to defend the regulation. The Supreme Court sided with the government on the narrower grounds that the regulation was constitutional.

Environmental Issues. As a student, Mr. Roberts wrote two law review articles arguing for an expansive reading of the Contracts and Takings clauses of the Constitution, taking positions that would restrict Congress’ ability to protect the environment. As a member of the Solicitor General’s office, Mr. Roberts was the lead counsel for the United States in the Supreme Court case Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, in which the government argued that private citizens could not sue the federal government for violations of environmental regulations.

Civil Rights. After a Supreme Court decision effectively nullified certain sections of the Voting Rights Act, Roberts was involved in the Reagan administration’s effort to prevent Congress from overturning the Supreme Court’s action.6 The Supreme Court had recently decided that certain sections of the Voting Rights Act could only be violated by intentional discrimination and not by laws that had a discriminatory effect, despite a lack of textual basis for this interpretation in the statute. Roberts was part of the effort to legitimize that decision and to stop Congress from overturning it.

Religion in Schools. While working with the Solicitor General’s office, Mr. Roberts co-wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the Bush administration, in which he argued that public high schools can include religious ceremonies in their graduation programs, a view the Supreme Court rejected.

  There is more information at their website.  Damn, I was really hoping that Bush would nominate either Edith Clement or Alex Kozinski.  While I view myself as more federalist than not, I also realize that, realistically, there are times that the federal government should step in- especially regarding the environment since we are all dependent on that for our lives.  Well, we’ll see what the Dems do.

13 thoughts on “Hold onto your hats - Bush announces his pick for SC Justice.

  1. Other things you should know about the nominee:

    Currently: U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia

    Born: Jan. 27, 1955

    Education: Harvard University undergraduate degree, B.A., 1976; Harvard Law School, JD, 1979.

    Career: Law clerk, Judge Henry J. Friendly, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1979-1980; law clerk, Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist, 1980-81; special assistant to U.S. Attorney William French Smith, 1981; associate counsel to President Reagan, 1982-86; member of Hogan & Hartson’s Appellate Practice Group, 1986-1989; principal deputy solicitor general, 1989-1993; head of Hogan & Hartson Appellate Practice Group, 1973-2004; U.S. Court of Appeals 2003-present

    Things you should also know:

    1) Prof. Laurence Tribe, opposing counsel in Rust v. Sullivan, and leading legal thinker for the left, desribed him as “brilliant” and “very enjoyable to work with or against.”

    2) White House counsel for Clinton signed on to a letter recommending his confirmation to the bench.

    3) He has friends on the right and the left.

    4) He will likely be confirmed. grin

    I for one am very pleased with the nomination.  I voted for Bush for this very reason.

  2. More about Judge Roberts:

    Another person who might otherwise be a critic of Roberts is a longtime friend. Georgetown University Law Center professor Richard Lazarus, an environmental law advocate, was a classmate of Roberts at Harvard Law School and roomed with him when they first came to Washington 25 years ago.

    “John Roberts and I are very good friends, and I think very highly of him as a person, lawyer and judge,” says Lazarus with care. “After that, I have to bow out.”

    Lazarus would not comment further, but other friends say the roots of Roberts’ conservatism can be traced to his days as a Harvard undergraduate, toward the end of the Vietnam War. Seeing fellow students demonstrate in sympathy with Ho Chi Minh, one said, did not sit well with Roberts, who grew up in Indiana.

    As unassuming as Roberts is, he also has a keen sense of humor, friends say. When Roberts was deputy solicitor general in 1990, he and Hogan friend Prettyman were adversaries in Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, a case that turned out to be a landmark decision narrowing the doctrine of standing. Prettyman’s federation clients claimed they had standing to challenge certain Interior Department land management decisions because they used nearby land for recreational purposes. Roberts argued that was not a specific enough injury to achieve standing.

    Before the argument, Prettyman says, Roberts went out West to look over the public lands at issue in the case. “He sent me a postcard from out there,” Prettyman recalls. “He wrote that he had looked and looked for my client, but couldn’t find her.”

  3. I don’t know enough about Roberts to say whether this is going to be hell on Earth or not. In fact, except to those who know where to look, Roberts is something of an unknown. The only clear thing about him is that he is very conservative—his stance on abortion and on the environment make that obvious.

    But history has shown that sitting on the Supreme Court can make you start to lean a little left. Unless your name is Scalia.

    Time will tell.

  4. The other thing to bear in mind, in looking at Roberts’ record, is that as someone in the Solicitor General’s office, his *job* was to put together court briefs and arguments and the like on behalf of the administration he was working for.  When my boss tells me to put together a memo for a particular project with a particular spin on it, then, by cracky, whether I agree with it or not, that’s what I do.  I work for him.

    That’s not to say that Roberts isn’t an anti-abortion zealot.  It is to say that his record is not nearly as clear-cut in some areas as it’s being made out to be.

  5. I don’t have a very good feeling about this choice. I think Bush could have been more amenable.

    One thing that bothers me is his relatively young age. I expect Supreme Court Justices to be as seasoned and as old as God so I’m comfortable imagining they’ve seen everything happen and now just want to make sure that if something happens again…it happens because it’s supposed to.

  6. I expect Supreme Court Justices to be as seasoned and as old as God so I’m comfortable imagining they’ve seen everything happen and now just want to make sure that if something happens again…it happens because it’s supposed to. (Brock)

    I’ve known some pretty old people who were nonetheless quite naive, and one 22-year-old who would be nearly impossible to con.  Fifty is OK.

    On a slightly related theme – the supreme court nominee is a president’s chance to leave administration-droppings behind him, and some of them stink for a long time.  I’d like to see 20-year term limits on supremes.  Future presidents would be free to nominate them again, if they so desired.

    That would be long enough to weather the winds of change, and give presidents more opportunities, yet have just a little flavor of accountability.  Lifetime appointments make me nervous.

  7. Yes, it is still too early to tell how things will pan out if he is confirmed.  From what I have read, I would have to agree with Consi that more likely than not he will be confirmed.  I am interested to see his take on some issues regarding the Commerce Clause.

  8. Roberts is still something of a mystery because, as ***Dave pointed out, most of his record consists of legal stances he wrote for other people.  He could be very conservative, he could be moderate; we’ll just have to wait and see (and hope that the Dems find their backbone and question the heck out of him).

  9. I’m holding off judgment on the judge until his confirmation hearings. I’m willing to hear the man out at least.

  10. If Roberts sticks to strict Constitutionalism, he’s just as likely to piss off the conservatives in deciding cases. 

    Gonzales vs. O Centro Espirita should be interesting this fall.  If Roberts gets the nod, it could be telling.

    It seems to me that since Justices tend to lean left, even those who where pretty conservative, that maybe BushCo is trying the reverse mojo by picking someone low key with the hopes that once he gets the nod, he’ll jump out of Scalia’s robe when they come in the court.  Or maybe they’re just tired of the whole Bolton crap.  Maybe Roberts is some kind of sleeper that’ll go fundie upon nomination.

    I loved Jon Stewart’s comment about Roberts’ kid looking like he was about to lose the case of Family v. Ritalin.  How nice that his family got a chance to wear their Easter Sunday clothes in July.

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