Wednesday, July 20, 2005

John Rodgers is not a hack.

But that doesn't mean I automatically support his nomination. I, for one, am going to wait for his nomination hearings before I come to any decision on his fitness for the bench. I suspect over the next few weeks we're going to hear a lot out of the liberal advocacy groups about how we should oppose his nomination. Some will argue he's an activist, some will argue he's too conservative, others will argue that we should oppose him because he signed a brief during his stint as a deputy solicitor general which stated that Roe should be overruled. They may be right, they may not.

Roberts, as far as I can tell, isn't a lunatic like Janice Roberts Brown, he isn't an apologist hack like the Attorney General, and he isn't a budding theocrat like J. Harvey Wilkinson or Michael Luttig. Sure, he's written some ridiculous opinions such as the DC french fry case, but that opinion, for example, was based squarely on Supreme Court precedent. Basically, Roberts is a very conservative, very bright guy. No doubt his judicial and political philosophy differ greatly from mine, but I'm not sure that alone is sufficient reason to militate against his nomination.

The fact is George Bush - even if he is a sniveling, cheating, lying, cowardly, bastard son of Dick Nixon and Elmer Gantry - did win the election in November. It might not have been a mandate, but it did give him the Constitutional perogrative of choosing a nominee. The Senate's power of advice and consent only reaches so far, and the President should be given some deference in his choice. I might not like who he chooses, but I'll wait until the hearings to find out whether he's truly unfit to serve on the Surpeme Court.

On a final note, is anybody really surprised that Bush announced his decision yesterday? After a week of getting the bungo reamed, he obviously sped up his timeline so as to take attention off Karl Rove. The White House, of course, claims that "the president's timing had nothing to do with Mr. Rove and everything to do with giving the Senate adequate time before its recess next week to meet Judge Roberts and deal with the enormous amount of paperwork and logistics such a nomination requires." Sure, and I've got a lovely bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.