Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bush's goal for SCOTUS

Ok, so it's been 24 hours for the pundits and blogosphere to react to the President's nomination of Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court, and I've had some time to do a little more reading on the subject. . . pesky life always getting in the way of prompt blog entries.

While it may be true that Robert's resume is thin, that doesn't mean Roberts won't be an effective conservative justice. Look at Bush's goal: get a staunch conservative with
impeccable credentials appointed to the SCOTUS. In my opinion there were two ways to do this: 1) find a nominee that is "politically acceptable" in terms of gender, race, etc. and might not have the conservative credentials Bush is looking for, or 2) find a nominee that is "politically acceptable" in terms of his or her record, resume, and credentials, and can be judged on merit rather than gender, race, etc. It appears that Bush has gone with option #2, the "bland" candidate. Bush has simply found a candidate that both (mostly) agrees with conservative ideals AND will make it through the Senate confirmation process. Bush is trying to avoid yet another judicial firefight. This view is further supported if Bush and his staff did "consult with more than 70 members of the United States Senate. I received good advice from both Republicans and Democrats."

If Roberts can get through the Senate confirmation, then Bush has achieved his goal of getting a Justice MORE conservative than O'Connor on the bench. It's as simple as that. Of course, some on the right are afraid he'll be another David Souter, who unleashed his liberal side only after he was appointed to the bench.
Ann Coulter says, in her latest column, which is well worth reading in full,

Apparently, Roberts decided early on that he wanted to be on the Supreme Court and that the way to do that was not to express a personal opinion on anything to anybody ever. It’s as if he is from some space alien sleeper cell. Maybe the space aliens are trying to help us, but I wish we knew that. . .

. . .Bush responds by nominating a candidate who will allow Democrats to avoid fighting on their weakest ground – substance. He has given us a Supreme Court nomination that will placate no liberals and should please no conservatives.

Maybe Roberts will contravene the sordid history of “stealth nominees” and be the Scalia or Thomas Bush promised us when he was asking for our votes. Or maybe he won’t. The Supreme Court shouldn't be a game of Russian roulette.

Though many people are worried about the filibuster, that option doesn't look likely to me, which, again, is what Pres. Bush wants. Last week, for example, Joe Lieberman, a member of the "Gang of 14" said this to the Hartford Courant:

"The administration has taken very encouraging and constructive steps," Lieberman said.

Lieberman cited in particular President Bush's statements that he had ruled out a litmus test for a nominee and that he would not be pressured by interest groups.

So far, though, Bush's comments "all sound like what most of us were hoping for," Lieberman said.

Also, there was this from Dianne Feinstein: “Do I believe this is a filibuster-able nominee? The answer would be no, not at this time I don’t." And from the same article: "the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee pledged that Roberts will receive 'full, fair and complete' hearings on his appointment." Additionally, Judge Roberts is paying visits to some of the key Senate leaders, which never hurts inside the Beltway. There will probably be a dogfight out of Dems like Kennedy and Leahy, but does that surprise ANYONE? Bush could have picked Oliver Wendell Holmes himself and gotten Senators like those two mad.

To sum up an overly long entry, Bush wanted a conservative on the Supreme Court. He found Roberts, a nominee who would give the opposition very little ammunition to impede the process. The fight is NOT by any means over, but it does seem that Bush is MUCH closer to his goal than many people realized.

Like I said yesterday, check out Blogs for Bush for a list of blogger reactions.
Oh, and for a reaction from the extreme left, check out these comments at Daily Kos (gay son ammunition?? sick), then go to Michelle for what Bush was
actually smiling at and what Mrs. Roberts was cringing at.

Bush Nominates Roberts for SCOTUS

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