Below The Beltway

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by @ 5:15 pm on September 18, 2005. Filed under John Roberts, Supreme Court

It ain’t over till its over.

Well, in the case of the nomination of John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the United States, its over.

Consider this from David Broder in today’s Washington Post:

The question of whether Judge John Roberts is qualified to be chief justice of the United States has been rendered moot by his performance in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. He is so obviously — ridiculously — well-equipped to lead government’s third branch that it is hard to imagine how any Democrats can justify a vote against his confirmation.

Excuse me while I say it, but wow……David Broder is not a friend of Republicans or conservatives and to read words like this from him is truly surprising.

I will admit that, on some level, I am nervous about Roberts. He has only been a Circuit Court Judge for 2 years and has a very limited record. As any lawyer knows, his writings as an advocate cannot really be taken as a guide of what he truly believes. The last time we knew this little about a Supreme Court nominee, his name was David Souter — and I am not a fan of the jurisprudence of David Souter. Will he follow the line of his predecessor ? Will he join Scalia and Thomas in a coalition of sorts ? Or, will he become for George Bush what Dwight Eisenhower once called Earl Warren — “the worst appointment I ever made.” ?

Nobody knows, but we will spend the next 30 years or so finding out.

Broder’s closing paragraph contains a warning for Democrats:

If the Democrats are smart, they will not bow to their interest groups but instead will embrace this extraordinary nominee and challenge President Bush, who has at least one more vacancy to fill, to “send us another Roberts.”

Personally, I doubt they will follow this advice.

And if Broder’s column wasn’t enough, there’s this editorial in yesterday’s Washington Post:

JOHN G. ROBERTS JR. should be confirmed as chief justice of the United States. He is overwhelmingly well-qualified, possesses an unusually keen legal mind and practices a collegiality of the type an effective chief justice must have. He shows every sign of commitment to restraint and impartiality. Nominees of comparable quality have, after rigorous hearings, been confirmed nearly unanimously. We hope Judge Roberts will similarly be approved by a large bipartisan vote.

Professor Bainbridge has this to say in light of the Post editorial board’s endorsment of Roberts:

The Democrats were lucky that the GOP decided not to use the Breyer and Ginsburg nominations as payback for the Bork fiasco. Indeed, there are some of us who think payback for that one is still an outstanding debt.

You said it Professor.

Hat Tips: The Volokh Conspiracy and Captain’s Quarter’s

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