Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Take On Roberts

I am sure that everyone knows by now that, last night, Bush nominated D.C. circuit court Justice John Roberts to fill the vacant Supreme court seat.

My first reaction is that I was very disappointed that Bush did not name a moderate conservative to the court. I was truly hoping that Bush, for once in his presidency, would try to be a uniter, and not a divider. Now, most likely, Roberts will be confirmed with support from both sides of the isle, but this does not mean that he is a uniter. No one can argue that Roberts is anywhere close to being the centrist that O'Connor was.

Second, I will come out and say that I believe Justice Roberts to be a very intelligent and respected judge. I hold no qualms that he is intellectually qualified for the position.

Third, I do have hesitations about his pre-justice history and how he would vote in the future. This is not a, "jump on the bandwaggon and attack whoever Bush nominates," but true concern after reviewing Roberts's history. He has written briefs that oppose affirmative action, a woman's right to choose, and are anti-environmental. He has also argued for the expansion of religion in public schools, including religious ceremony and prayer. His augment in a case concerning prayer at a high school graduation was quite absurd. He argued that since attending a graduation is voluntary, prayer was not coerced. In essence - If you don't want to pray, just don't attend your own high school graduation. Lee v Weisman

Many of his private practice cases have taken the side of large corporations over the rights of individuals. He has penned several law review articles that lead me to believe that he would be even less to favor individual rights to property recently decided in Kelo v City of New London, and would even further favor the dilution of rights of property owners.

Fourth, James Dobson thinks he is an excellent choice. Anyone Dobson thinks is a good choice, can't be a good choice.

This will be fought out over the blogs and airwaves for weeks to come. I am sure that Bush could have picked someone who would have been much more amicable to both parties. But, when has Bush ever done anything that was good for the majority of the American people and not just his base.

Alliance for justice


MaxedOutMama said...

I'm curious as to why you think he would not be on the O'Connor side on Kelo? Do you have a reference to the articles?

Dingo said...

My reference is to a 1978 Harvard law review article he wrote titled "The Takings Clause - Development in the Law - Zoning" (1978), where he seems to fall on the side on government utilitarianism. He also seems to be more favorable to the developers rights than to individual home owners. Now, this was written a long time ago, and it is 238 pages long and I have only read about a third of it, so I make no firm conclusions, only initial reactions. I have tried to find an online link for you, but can't. I had to go down to our law library to read it.

MaxedOutMama said...

Thanks Dingo. At least I know what to look for.

I think the average person is really more concerned with issues like Kelo (though the freaking' medical marijuana decision bothers me more and more as well) than anything else. Abortion can be fought out on a state-by-state basis. The Supreme Court can't criminalize it. My belief is that Kelo has shifted the balance of power so hugely against small businesses and middle-class or lower people that we have entered into a new Robber Baron age.

To me, to be honest, Roberts looks like a political insider who will not change much.