Strong opinions, weakly held

About what I expected

Robert W Gordon on President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts:

All the indications are that he will become another vote to expand presidential power in national-security affairs, to limit the federal government’s authority to regulate business and the environment and protect civil rights, to make it harder for women, minorities, labor and the disabled to pursue practical remedies in the courts, and to favor a larger role for religion in public life and as object of public subsidy.

That’s about what I expected from this nomination. That said, we’re due for a conservative Supreme Court justice (given the fact that the Presidency and Senate are held by Republicans), and this guy is obvioiusly well qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice. If we liberals want Supreme Court justices more to our liking, we have to get Democrats elected.


  1. You know, I was listening to NPR news this morning to get an idea of how offensive this guy is to liberals (as you mention, it’s a given that he is), but I was frustrated to hear that all they reported on was how the progressive organizations plan to try to block his nomination, not whether. Apparently, it’s a given that they’ll do so, regardless of the candidate. And I think that’s a very short-sighted approach. After all, the evil you know may well be better than the evil you don’t know.

  2. Stan> After all, the evil you know may well be better than the evil you don’t know.

    Evil you know versus evil you don’t is still evil.

    If enough people stand up and say they’re not going to settle for “just good enough,” then perhaps we’ll start to see some quality candidates.

    The problem is, I think, that most people don’t care at all. If it is not in one’s face, then it tends to be regulated to somewhere below “what’s for dinner?” or “didja see that episode of ___ last night?”

    The only people who seem to pay attention—and who keep themselves more informed than the average bear—are the same ones who obsess over when the next item will be posted the Kos/DU, and we’re in the minority. 🙂

  3. I have seen some insinuation that since the Republicans have a majority, they just get to choose someone and it’s wrong for the Democrats to block it. I expect the Republicans to be saying this a lot through this and any nomination. This idea that you have a small majority you get to do everything your way is wrong in my opinion. I just hope that the American People feel that way too, otherwise it’ll be bad times.

  4. I definitely don’t think it would be wrong for the Democrats to block a nomination that is egregious. I’m just not sure this guy is egregious. Philosophically, I have nothing in common with him, but as far as I can see he hasn’t done anything to disqualify himself from consideration, and given that the Senate voted 100-0 a couple of years ago to put him on the DC circuit Court of Appeals, I think it’s a safe bet to say that he’ll be elevated to the Supreme Court.

  5. Bryan, I see your point, but I guess–for good or bad–I’m resigned to the fact that the only contribution that we progressives can make at this point is out-and-out shit-fit (filibuster, etc.).

    Maybe Rove floated the idea of Alberto Gonzalez as a possible nominee a while back so that when they found another nominee, everyone (the right-wing, all-abortion all-the time folks as well as progressives) would all think, ‘Well, at least it’s not Gonzalez.”

  6. Supreme Court Nomination

    On the Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts:

    [..] a plain-vanilla, soft-spoken, seemingly moderate jurist who by all accounts has high-profile admirers on both sides of the aisle? Except for the predictable debate about Roe v. Wade that will tak…

  7. Joseph Ottinger

    July 21, 2005 at 11:43 am

    Of course, another alternative is that he’s not as activist as many of the “more progressive” justices have tried to be, which would mean FANTASTIC things for the supreme court.

    I wouldn’t care if they elected a flaming liberal or a rabid conservative to the Court, as long as said Justice actually kept to his job and interpreted the Constitution rather than legislating from the bench.

  8. I have stopped believing that the term “judicial activism” has any meaning in practical usage. Conservatives are only in favor of strict interpretation and states rights when the federal government or Supreme Court is ruling against them.

    The people who are usually most consistent on this are libertarians, so I grant them some slack.

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