Sunday, July 31, 2005

Juridics: SC - John Roberts: Senate opinion on Sunday TV newstalk shows - Feinstein, Dodd, McConnell - and other voices & views

Sen. Dianne Feinstein on John Roberts journey to his seat on the Supreme Court, Sacramento Bee, July 31, 2005. The California Senator writes a very thawtful piece on what she'll be looking for in the candidacy of John Roberts to take his seat on the Supreme Court. - Politicarp

With the stroke of a pen, a [US Supreme Court] justice may affect millions of lives.

Given this profound impact, I will be looking to ascertain Roberts' judicial philosophy on when precedent can and should be overturned, what is the proper balance of power between the three branches of government and what are his views on individual rights both enumerated and implied in our constitution.

Fundamental questions of law will be affected by his responses to these inquiries, including:

* Whether the court will continue to respect a woman's right to make reproductive choices

* What is covered under the sphere of privacy

* Whether the federal government may intrude on fundamentally personal decisions regarding the end of life

* Whether diversity in our schools continues to be recognized as a compelling state interest

* What is the proper equilibrium between religious beliefs and our public institutions

His judicial philosophy will have broad implications for our national economy, the ability of states and localities to seize private property or infringe upon its uses, the president's authority to conduct the war on terror and the due process rights of enemy combatants and detainees.

NBC News' Meet the Press transcript, July 31, 2005 Hi-lites & snippets:

MR. HARWOOD: ... Judge Roberts is not going to say that he would overturn Roe vs. Wade.

MR. BRODER: You know, Tim, this man is going on to the Supreme Court. And what the Democrats could usefully do, from the country's point of view, is illuminate him not subject him to some sort of cross-examination about specific issues where he will not respond. But he's led a pretty sheltered life in the law. We don't know much about what his view is of American life and society. If we could find that out, it could probably be useful information for the public to have.

MR. RUSSERT: What kind of questions would you ask him?

MR. BRODER: I'd ask him, for example, what does he think about what's happening now in some of the states in this country? What does he think is happening in the relationship between the states and the federal government? What does he think about what is happening between the employers and employees of this country? Get some sense about where his sense of social justice may be, what his sense of obligation to the society, and particularly ask him, what does he think the law means to average citizens? What can they expect from the courts? If he wants to talk about predictability, that would be important to know. If he thinks that there are some specific issues where people have a stake in what the courts decide, we'd like to know that about him.

MS. O'BEIRNE: Interesting, interesting questions. But they're not the kind of thing Democratic senators appear to be interested in.

Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace interviews Sen. Christopher Doddd [D, Connecticut] and Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, Kentucky], July 31, 2005, segment on topic of John Roberts. Snippets:

MCCONNELL: Well, the Democrats think almost everybody's outside the mainstream. Their definition of "mainstream" is a little bit different from mine. My mainstream definition is what would be good in Louisville, Kentucky; theirs, I guess, on the east side of Manhattan.


Look, in terms of the documents, the administration, as you indicated, has turned over 70,000 pages. There are going to be additional requests for solicitors' papers.

But this administration views the letter signed in 2002 by six living former solicitors, a majority of whom were Democrats, that [turning over more solicitors' papers] would have a chilling effect on the young people who work there in the solicitor's office and make it less likely that they would express themselves openly, is the position the [the Administration is] going to take.

So I think the Senate clearly has enough information to make a decision on Judge Roberts, and I think they're going to confirm him.

DODD: ... I think he's probably a pretty good choice. I've been reading the newspaper articles about him. He's a conservative choice but one that has a distinguished legal record, an academic record, certainly qualified on all of those grounds to be on the Supreme Court.

The open-ended question for us clearly is what are his views about some of the basic values, the equal protection clause, the privacy clause of the Constitution. These are things that members of the Congress through their -- and their representatives want to know about during the confirmation process.

This is a nomination, not a coronation. That's why we have a nomination process. I look forward to that process, and if he comes through it and answers those questions well, he'll have my vote.

Dodd is a bit dodgey, but he leaves the door open a crack, while McConnell is rather gung-ho, eh? - Owlb

Rule for Roberts - Separate Church from State, by Marie Szaniszlo, Boston Herald, July 31, 2005.

``Any opposition to Roberts, particularly because of his anti-abortion record, will likely be countered with accusations of anti-Catholicism,'' Adele Stan wrote in the online edition of the liberal magazine The American Prospect.
Even Boston attorney and longtime women's advocate Ellen Zucker said Roberts' religion should be irrelevant, noting that for more than a century, Jews were effectively barred from the bench.
Nor is a person's faith an accurate predictor of how a person will vote. Two of the Catholics on the current court - Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas - are abortion foes. But the third, Anthony Kennedy, voted with the majority in 1992 in a 5-4 ruling reaffirming the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. William Brennan, the lone Catholic on the high court when it decided Roe in 1973, supported liberal access to abortion.
"The question is whether (Roberts) distinguishes between private beliefs and public rights,'' Zucker said.

But is that really the question? It seems to be a false question to me. Beliefs can be kept private at a person's discretion or indolence. Or cunning. But it is not in the nature of beliefs to remain private, beliefs are as public as they are private, and there is no valid reason for excluding them from the public square. - Anaximaximum

A pot pourri of further voices & views that descends to the sheer propaganda of ...<

Democrats Pinpoint the Files They Want, They call their request for Roberts' documents 'limited'; Republicans say it's a delay tactic,
by Maura Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2005

Dissident Voice on Roberts Nomination, by Paul Rogat Loeb, Dissident Voice, July 28, 2005.

Why Can't John Roberts Remember ...?
Stop Thief!, by Tom Englehardt, Mother Jones, July 28, 2005

John Roberts Nomination: Senatorial Advice and Consent, by Marion Edwyn Harrison, Esq., National Ledger, Jul 28, 2005.

Bush Stonewalls, Demands Rubber Stamp on Roberts Nomination, by Leo Walsh, PoliticalAffairs, Marxist Thawt online, July 29, 2005.

- Collected by Owlie Scowlie

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