Friday, September 30, 2005

Roberts Is In, Now Who's Next?

Since there is little news on the economic front, this post will be short and sweet.

Today the United States Senate confirmed John Glover Roberts Jr. as the 17th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by a 78-22 vote. Prior to his nomination, he represented one of the greatest legal minds in the nation, and in recent years has been a superb federal judge. With such high ratings and a sterling reputation from numerous sources, it's hard to believe he faced such a vicious fight from the left. In fact, all 22 "Nay" votes came from Democratic senators which begs the question, what kind of fight will Bush's next Supreme Court nominee await.

Rumors from the White House staff point to another conservative appointee, albeit one with a little more notoriety. However, in July many Republican pundits and strategists were pointing to an Edith Jones or Miguel Estrada type as Justice O'Connor's replacement. In that case they were way off the mark; neither a woman nor a minority are represented in Judge Roberts. Nevertheless, many fear that the nomination of another white male would be foolish, and many conservatives urge President Bush to nominate either a woman or a minority to replace Justice O'Connor this time around.

Senate Democratic leaders Harry Reid (D-NV) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have already sworn that they are vehemently opposed to any of the former nominees that were filibustered earlier in the year. Unfortunately for them, the judges represented in that statement are all perfect to fill the position. Potentials like Edith Jones, Miguel Estrada, Edith Clement, Janice Rogers Brown, and Priscilla Owen have all received excellent ratings from the American Bar Association which in Senators Leahy and Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) own words is the "gold standard."

To date we have yet to hear a peep from Republican senators on the utter hypocrisy of liberal senators like Leady, Reid, and Kennedy regarding their smearing of perennial ABA all-stars as "radical," and "not mainstream." When will the time come for a brave conservative of Reagan's temperament to stand up to the ongoing assaults of Bush appointees to the federal courts and ultimately, to the Supreme Court? Just four decades ago, Justice Byron White was confirmed merely one WEEK after his nomination to the Supreme Court by JFK. It took more than two months for Judge Roberts to make his way through the tedious process that was once so fluid.

White's hearing in the Judiciary Committee took a whopping hour and a half, in which he was asked a total of eight questions. In the hearing that proved to be the demise of Robert H. Bork, even his choice of video rentals was an issue important enough for consideration. One question, much like the other seven, asked of Byron White was, "Does or should the Supreme Court, through its decisions, legislate?" His response was even more pointed and succinct. Under the Constitution legislative power is vested in the Congress. Changing laws was the business of Congress.

There is no doubt in my mind that Judge Roberts would have had the same answers as Mr. White, however he was never asked simple enough questions. In this televised era, the members of the Judiciary Committee couldn't wait to lecture from their pulpit in their feeble attempts to look intelligent to the people watching at home. Some questions asked of Roberts weren't even questions, they were just long dissertations from the likes of Kennedy and Biden. They didn't even pay attention to the response long enough to hear an answer. They were too eager to get to the next "question."

We can only pray that Bush doesn't compromise by nominating an "acceptable" replacement for Justice O'Connor. If everything goes accordingly, President Bush will stick to his principles and nominate a Janice Rogers Brown or Edith Jones to be the next Supreme Court Justice. If he doesn't, God only knows what drama will come from the halls of the Court in the coming decades.

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