Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yeah, I'd call "so-called right to privacy" a red flag...

I was listening to an NPR report this morning on Roberts, and two things occurred to me:

1) Rehnquist won't announce his retirement until Roberts is confirmed, because BushCo wants Roberts as Chief Justice. So they'll confirm Roberts first, and then appoint him Chief later, when Rehnquist retires.
2) BushCo wants Roberts to be the anti-Bork. The Bizarro World Bork. The Bork antidote. Just as Bork set a precedent for nominee opposition, they want Roberts to reverse that precedent. They want to be able to point to a confirmed Roberts and say "See? Conservative, and confirmed without a fuss. Therefore no future objections to conservative ideology are legitimate."

Hey, I'm not saying it would work. I'm saying that's what they want. But will Democrats roll over and play dead on the nomination? Yeah, I'd take that bet, too. But it really depends on how many documents they can get released, and what hay they can make of them. WaPo:
The groups are now highlighting several items found in documents from Roberts's days as a lawyer in the Reagan White House and Justice Department. They include his calling a memorial service for aborted fetuses "an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy," and his reference to the legal underpinnings of the right to an abortion as the "so-called 'right to privacy.' " The groups note that Roberts once wrote that a Supreme Court case on prohibiting silent prayer in public schools "seems indefensible." Roberts, they say, had also called a federal court decision that sought to guarantee women equal pay to men "a radical redistributive concept."

Senator Kennedy attempts to get it started in here, yo:
In his letter to colleagues, Kennedy said recently released evidence "shows that he was on or beyond the outer fringe of that extreme group eager to take our law and society back in time on a wide range of issues of individual rights and liberties, and on broad issues of government responsiveness to public needs." For instance, Kennedy said, he "opposed effective voting rights legislation, and wanted to restrict laws vital to battling discrimination by recipients of federal funds."

Senate Minority Leader Reid tries to sound like he has a pair. Unfortunately he comes off like a high schooler doing Noel Coward:
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement: "All this talk about whether Democrats will support the Roberts nomination is laughably premature. . . . The White House has so far refused to produce relevant documents, and the documents we have seen raise questions about the nominee's commitment to progress on civil rights."

Did you hear me? Laughably premature! Good day to you, sir. I said good day!

And then this unintentionally hilarious remark by WH spokesman Steve Schmidt:
"Hopefully, these letters do not signal the abandonment of a dignified process by the Democrats."
Oh, I think we can pretty much count on an abandonment of a dignified process by the Democrats, Steve.

Look y'all, here's the real question that is raised by the release of the Reagan administration documents: Is Roberts really that conservative, or is he really that big of a toady?

Only time will tell. Well, time, and maybe a subpoena.

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