Tuesday, July 19, 2005

SCotUS: Definitely NOT Edith Clement

MSNBC, just announced that they confirmed that Edith Clement is NOT Bush's nominee to the Supremes. Aside from pissing off the wing-nuts, a Clement nomination would make her a consensus candidate that would probably sail through the confirmation process. What BushCo wants and needs is a diversion to distract from the 3 ring circus of the leaky triad of Cheney-Libby-Rove.

UPDATE 8:00 PM: It's not the other Edith or Prissy as I expected. It's 50 year old John Roberts who's on the DC circuit court of appeals, confirmed by the Senate for that position less than 2 years ago where he appears very conservative but not necessarily as predictable as liberals think he is and conservatives want him to be. [emphasis added]
By contrast, Roberts, with 20 months on the D.C. Circuit, has few opinions or other writings that have attracted enemies. As a result, some conservatives have made unflattering comparisons between Roberts and Supreme Court Justice David Souter, whose short stint on the 1st Circuit before being appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush failed to reveal Souter's moderate-to-liberal leanings on some issues.

Yet those who know Roberts say he, unlike Souter, is a reliable conservative who can be counted on to undermine if not immediately overturn liberal landmarks like abortion rights and affirmative action. Indicators of his true stripes cited by friends include: clerking for Rehnquist, membership in the Federalist Society, laboring in the Ronald Reagan White House counsel's office and at the Justice Department into the Bush years, working with Kenneth Starr among others, and even his lunchtime conversations at Hogan & Hartson. "He is as conservative as you can get," one friend puts it. In short, Roberts may combine the stealth appeal of Souter with the unwavering ideology of Scalia and Thomas.

But this take on Roberts puts some of his biggest boosters in a quandary. They praise Roberts as a brilliant, fair-minded lawyer with a perfect judicial temperament. But can that image as an open-minded jurist co-exist with also being viewed as a predictable conservative?


E. Barrett Prettyman Jr., a longtime Roberts fan and lifelong Democrat who worked with him for years at Hogan, says that if anyone can be both judicious and predictable, Roberts can.

"He respects the Court greatly, and would not ignore precedent," says Prettyman. "But if there's a loophole or a distinguishing factor, he'd find it."

Roberts himself declined to comment for this story, but during his January 2003 Senate confirmation hearing, he made it clear that he prefers impartiality over predictability. For example, he criticized the press for identifying judges according to whether they were appointed by Democratic or Republican presidents.

"That gives so little credit to the work that they put into the case," he said. "They work very hard, and all of a sudden the report is, well, they just decided that way because of politics. That is a disservice to them."
This is not going to be bad enough to divert attention from the BushCo Leaky Trilogy of Terror Treason (especially if increased focus on DSM manages to generate some articles of impeachment and Dems can pick up some seats in the mid-term elections).


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