Discussion in 'Legal' started by Zrex, Jul 19, 2005.
Who is Judge John Roberts?
Networks are reporting U.S. Circuit Court Justice John Roberts Jr. is to be announced as Bush's pick. Anyone know anything about this guy?
I thought he wasn't going to announce a name until 9:00.
Official announcement is at 9 Eastern, but several networks (Fox, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, ABC) are citing inside sources that name Roberts.
I may not be happy with this pick. If I remember right he heard the NRA/Kopel case Seegers???? it think that was the one and said there was no standing. It think he also asked one of his law clerks to check and see if D.C. had a militia?(sounded sarcastic to me) Now I may be wrong and I hope so.
CNN is citing a judiciary committee source. I wonder who it could be... maybe it's Specter, or maybe Specter or Specter.
Isn't leaky Lehay on that committee?
ON THE SHORT LIST
With all the recent talk, Roberts has joined 4th Circuit Judges J. Michael Luttig and J. Harvie Wilkinson III and 10th Circuit Judge Michael McConnell on the short list of those who might get the nod, especially if President Bush replaces Rehnquist as chief justice with Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas.
But there is one way in which Roberts stands apart from -- and possibly ahead of -- the others. Luttig, with 13 years on the 4th Circuit, and Wilkinson with 20 have written enough opinions that it is easy to chart how conservative they are. McConnell has only two years on the 10th Circuit, but he has a provocative paper trail from his 17 years as a prolific conservative law school professor.
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?
Florida personal injury lawyer Dean Colson of Colson Hicks Eidson in Coral Gables, who has known Roberts since they clerked for Rehnquist together in 1980, side-steps the question.
Colson calls Roberts "the smartest lawyer in America," someone who will "approach the cases with an intellectual viewpoint. I don't view him as having an agenda to promote."
But does that mean conservatives can't count on Roberts? "I don't know the answer as to how he would vote on specific issues," says Colson. "I would never ask him, and I hope he never tells anybody what he would do."
Mark Levin, author of "Men in Black," a new conservative critique of the Supreme Court, sees no conflict and is a fan of Roberts. "In the short period he has been on the court, John Roberts has shown he does not bring a personal agenda to his work. He follows the Constitution, and he is excellent."
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."
NOT ALWAYS PREDICTABLE
So far on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts' votes have mainly fallen on the conservative side, but not always.
Last December, in United States v. Mellen, Roberts ruled in favor of a criminal defendant who challenged his sentence in a fraud case. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson -- yes, an appointee of the first President Bush -- dissented.
In the July 2004 decision Barbour v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Roberts joined Merrick Garland -- a Clinton appointee -- in deciding that sovereign immunity did not bar a D.C employee with bipolar disorder from suing the transit agency under federal laws barring discrimination against the disabled. Conservative Sentelle dissented.
But then there was another WMATA case -- known as the french fry case -- which some critics point to as a sign of a certain hard-heartedness in Roberts' decision making.
In the unanimous ruling last October in Hedgepeth v. WMATA, Roberts upheld the arrest, handcuffing and detention of a 12-year-old girl for eating a single french fry inside a D.C. Metrorail station. "No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation," Roberts acknowledged in the decision, but he ruled that nothing the police did violated the girl's Fourth Amendment or Fifth Amendment rights.
Roberts also displayed what some viewed as insouciance toward arroyo toads in a 2003 case, Rancho Viejo v. Norton. Roberts wanted the full D.C. Circuit to reconsider a panel's decision that upheld a Fish and Wildlife Service regulation protecting the toads under the Endangered Species Act. Roberts said there could be no interstate commerce rationale for protecting the toad, which, he said, "for reasons of its own lives its entire life in California."
In another decision last June, Roberts went even further than his colleagues in supporting the Bush administration in a case that pitted the government against veterans of the first Gulf War. American soldiers captured and tortured by the Iraqi government during the first Gulf War sued the Iraqi government in U.S. court and won nearly $1 billion in damages at the district court level.
But once Saddam was toppled in 2003, the Bush administration wanted to protect the new Iraqi government from liability and intervened to block the award. Roberts, alone among the circuit judges who ruled with the government, said the federal courts did not even have jurisdiction to consider the victims' claim. An appeal is before the Supreme Court.
"These decisions are troubling in a lot of ways," says Elliot Mincberg of the liberal People for the American Way, a point person in any battle over Supreme Court nominees.
But Mincberg's criticism of Roberts may be muted somewhat by the fact that he worked with Roberts at Hogan years back and likes him personally. "He's a very smart lawyer and easy to work with, but there is no question he is very, very conservative," says Mincberg.
Another person who might otherwise be a critic of Roberts is a longtime friend. Georgetown University Law Center professor Richard Lazarus, an environmental law advocate, was a classmate of Roberts at Harvard Law School and roomed with him when they first came to Washington 25 years ago.
"John Roberts and I are very good friends, and I think very highly of him as a person, lawyer and judge," says Lazarus with care. "After that, I have to bow out."
Lazarus would not comment further, but other friends say the roots of Roberts' conservatism can be traced to his days as a Harvard undergraduate, toward the end of the Vietnam War. Seeing fellow students demonstrate in sympathy with Ho Chi Minh, one said, did not sit well with Roberts, who grew up in Indiana.
As unassuming as Roberts is, he also has a keen sense of humor, friends say. When Roberts was deputy solicitor general in 1990, he and Hogan friend Prettyman were adversaries in Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, a case that turned out to be a landmark decision narrowing the doctrine of standing. Prettyman's federation clients claimed they had standing to challenge certain Interior Department land management decisions because they used nearby land for recreational purposes. Roberts argued that was not a specific enough injury to achieve standing.
Before the argument, Prettyman says, Roberts went out West to look over the public lands at issue in the case. "He sent me a postcard from out there," Prettyman recalls. "He wrote that he had looked and looked for my client, but couldn't find her."
As it turned out, neither could the Supreme Court. It ruled 5-4 that Prettyman's clients had no right to sue. Roberts' argument won the day.
I don't know anything about him except that he clerks for Renquist and is young.
From the Washington Post:
John G. Roberts
John G. Roberts, 50, has long been considered one of the Republicans' heavyweights amid the largely Democratic Washington legal establishment. Roberts was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2003 by President George W. Bush. (He was also nominated by the first President Bush, but never received a Senate vote). Previously, he practiced law at D.C.'s Hogan & Hartson from 1986-1989 and 1993-2003. Between 1989 and 1993, he was the Principal Deputy Solicitor General in the first Bush administration, helping formulate the administration's position in Supreme Court cases. During the Reagan administration, he served as an aide to Attorney General William French Smith from 1981-1982 and as a an aide to White House Counsel Fred Fielding from 1982-1986.
With impeccable credentials -- Roberts attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, clerked for Justice William H. Rehnquist on the Supreme Court and has argued frequently before the court -- the question marks about Roberts have always been ideological. While his Republican party loyalties are undoubted, earning him the opposition of liberal advocacy groups, he is not a "movement conservative," and some on the party's right-wing doubt his commitment to their cause. His paper record is thin: as Deputy Solicitor General in 1990, he argued in favor of a government regulation that banned abortion-related counseling by federally-funded family planning programs. A line in his brief noted the Bush administration's belief that Roe v. Wade should be overruled.
As a judge on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts voted with two colleagues to uphold the arrest and detention of a twelve-year old girl for eating french fries on the Metro train, though his opinion noted that "[n]o one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation." In another case, Roberts wrote a dissenting opinion that suggested Congress might lack the power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause to regulate the treatment of a certain species of wildlife.
Well the moonbats over on DU are declaring it TEOTWAWKI so I reckon the boy can't be all that bad.
Info on Roberts:
Sounds like your normal ultra social conservative. Anti abortion, anti civil rights. A perfect pick to bring a filibuster to the forefront to cover for Rove's little slip of the tounge.
EDIT. Sorry, first link did not work.
The naysayers on this board will bash whoever Bush appoints. According to some people here there is nothing positive that can ever be accomplished by anyone. Goverment, gun companies, cops, or just about any people in general. I can't imagine he can be any worse than the majority of the other justices on the court. Of course the nutcases on DU will go crazy over him, after all according to them Bush is the Antichrist. Hopefully confirmation will go easier for him than it did for Bork.
Some other links.
DC Circuit Appeals - I looked up Second Amedment and did not see Roberts there. There is a judge ROGERS who addressed a 2nd amendment case.
Granted, that was just through a search. I'm not sure if Roberts is good or bad on this.
Good God, how long is the left going to flog that dead horse? Fer cryin out loud, Matthew Cooper himself says Rove did not disclose the woman's name, it's been firmly established she was not covert at the time and didn't even fall under the auspices of The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. Give it a rest, folks. The parrot is dead. Deceased. It ain't stunned and it ain't pinin' for the fjords.
Here is some more info. (Now with a working link
Multiple threads merged.
True or not, it does not matter. The current hubbub about it is hurting Bush, what better way to get it off of the front page than to nominate someone that has no chance of getting appointed without a tremendous fight. Now we will see the Filibuster fight instead, of which, the Dems are already painted as cry babies.
The only Senators of either party that voted against Roberts two years ago were Kennedy, Shumer and Durbin.
Until they find another dead horse to flog, obviously.
Blah, Robert's only conservative credentials are that he opposes Roe v Wade and he is against affirmative action. Everything else is either wishy-washy or unknown. How many Souters do we need before they finally learn their lesson. So sad.
By the way....
Overturning Roe v Wade would have the same effect as the AWB- it would split the Republican party and also increase Democratic turnout. We shouldnt let the pro-life crowd run the party into the ground anymore than the gun-banners were permitted to run the Democratic party under.
This sucks so bad.
Fascinating, MrTuffPaws. Perhaps you should expound on it...in a separate thread.
Way to man up and stick it to the Socialists, George. Good on ya.
I sure hope that this guy isn't another Souter. The jury is still out, but there doesn't seem like much evidence is available to get a clear picture.
"The only Senators of either party that voted against Roberts two years ago were Kennedy, Shumer and Durbin."
That sounds like a recommendation to me! Teddy the Lifeguard was quoted earlier saying earlier that he did not get enough "advise and consent" from the white house. Michelin Man needs to go home and let it pass.
Separate names with a comma.