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July 19, 2005
ABC: It's John Roberts

ABC and Fox News now report that Bush will name John Roberts as Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement. (via Michelle Malkin)

If true, this is great news. More later as it develops.

UPDATE: People For the American Way won't share my enthusiasm:

In the short time since he was confirmed by the Senate in May 2003, Judge Roberts has issued troubling dissents from decisions by the full D.C. Circuit not to reconsider two important rulings. These included a decision upholding the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act as applied in a California case and a ruling against Bush Administration efforts to keep secret the records concerning Vice President Cheney's energy task force.

Hey, this might be a two-fer: a conservative justice and a member of the CheneyChimpyMcHalliburtEnron conspiracy!

UPDATE II: He doesn't have many fans at the Alliance for Justice, either:

As a political appointee in the Reagan administration, Roberts worked to oppose both busing and affirmative action as means of desegregation. Roberts was also involved in the administration's highly controversial efforts to make it nearly impossible for Voting Rights plaintiffs to prove violations. He later represented the first Bush administration in taking anti-choice positions in two high-profile reproductive rights cases. Roberts is nominated to the DC Circuit which hears many critical cases involving health, safety and civil rights regulations.

If John Roberts really is the nominee, this sends a signal to the Senate that Bush has no intention of backing down from the confirmation fight. Expect PFAW, AFJ, NARAL, and the Democratics to come out with all guns blazing. It may not take a Byrd Option to shut down a filibuster, but it will take a big effort to get cloture on the floor.

UPDATE III: Hugh Hewitt says he's delighted. He has a six-hour special broadcast tonight to cover the nomination and debate it. Be sure to tune in or listen on one of his Internet streams.

UPDATE IV: This will also get some people exercised, when it comes up during the confirmation debates:

Advocacy groups on the right say that Roberts, a 50-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., who attended Harvard Law School, is a bright judge with strong conservative credentials he burnished in the administrations of former Presidents Bush and Reagan. While he has been a federal judge for just a little more than two years, legal experts say that whatever experience he lacks on the bench is offset by his many years arguing cases before the Supreme Court.

Liberal groups, however, say Roberts has taken positions in cases involving free speech and religious liberty that endanger those rights. Abortion rights groups allege that Roberts, while deputy solicitor general during former President Bush's administration, is hostile to women's reproductive freedom and cite a brief he co-wrote in 1990 that suggested the Supreme Court overturn
Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion.

"The court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion ... finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution," the brief said.

In his defense, Roberts told senators during his 2003 confirmation hearing that he would be guided by legal precedent. "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."

Expect this to get hammered over and over again by Ted Kennedy and the rest of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. We may need the Byrd Option to get cloture. He won't get a unanimous confirmation this time around.

UPDATE V: NZ Bear has a new John Roberts tracking page at the TTLB Ecosystem. Ian, the Political Teen, has video of the news report. That makes it official, I believe ...

UPDATE 7:57 CT: Fox News has Jon Cornyn on, saying that Roberts is a "mainstream, traditional judge". Mark Pryor won't comment on a filibuster, but says that he feels encouraged that the White House did so much consulting prior to making the pick.

8:01 - Bush introduces Roberts ... Roberts stands by his side.

8:03 - Notice the brilliance of the prime-time introduction. As Hugh noted earlier, Bush gets to define Roberts before the opposition can smear him. Bush lays out his life story and his endorsements, pre-empting the inevitable bloviating of Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer, who Fox reported was unhappy to hear of Roberts' nomination.

8:06 - Bush consulted with Reid and Leahy to make sure that the process is conducted with fairness and civility. We'll see. I predict we will see some Anita Hill-type shenanigans at some point. (I hope not, of course, but the track record of the Left has been pretty poor lately.)

8:10 - Short statement, no questions. Roberts is very well spoken, and plenty of poise, which he'll need in the weeks ahead.

8:12 - Leahy and Schumer now talking. "No one is entitled to a free pass..." He's laying out the rationale for a much tougher confirmation process than what Roberts faced before. Leahy scolded the "extreme right" for opposing a candidate that would follow in O'Connor's judicial philosophy.

8:14 - Schumer: Roberts must answer a wide range of questions, and must earn his confirmation instead of the Senate proving him unworthy, an unusual notion for executive appointments.

8:18 - Durbin says that Bush has guaranteed a "more controversial" confirmation with a controversial nominee.

8:23 - Leahy and Schumer didn't look very happy or very engaged. They appear to be going through the motions.

8:24 - Stupid question #1 from press to Leahy and Schumer: "What does the Roberts nomination mean for Native Americans in this country?" After a moment to register the non-sequitur, Schumer replied dryly, "It's too early to tell."

8:27 - Leahy still obsesses over O'Connor, lamenting that Bush didn't pick her clone. Feh.

8:28 - Leahy won't commit to getting the confirmation done before the Supreme Court comes back into session -- in October! He wants to have O'Connor come back. I'm not kidding.

8:32 - My prediction: we will see a Bolton-style stall tactic, where the Democrats demand more and more documentation from prior cases, and then filbuster when the White House finally balks. The Democrats started this tactic during Miguel Estrada's confirmation hearings.

8:36 - Cornyn talking now. President has chosen a "known quantity", a man who has argued 39 cases at SCOTUS. Cornyn also emphasized what has been called the "Ginsburg rule", where they refused to answer specific questions about how they would judge certain cases.

8:41 - Starting over from scratch, as Schumer proposed, shows a predilection to stalling and obstruction, Cornyn says. This already seems to be shaping up as a big partisan fight.

8:43 - Want to know what the opposition thinks? Citizen Journal has some links for you.

8:45 - "Are they looking for a fight, or are they looking for an orderly and dignified process?" Cornyn scoffs at Schumer's notion that Bush didn't consult enough with the Democrats.

8:48 - Reporters ask Cornyn about the Estrada strategy, and Cornyn says that he will oppose any such attempt, and that an effort to try it will expose Democrats as obstructionists.

I'm going to close this thread out (not the comments -- they always stay open), although I'm obviously going to continue to post on this issue for the next several weeks. My inbox is already filling up with responses from special-interest groups to Roberts' nomination, I see! And if you want your dose of inanity and insanity, check out the reaction at Daily Kos. The big news there? Bush has "coke jaw". Simply brilliant analysis.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 19, 2005 6:53 PM

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» It Will Be A Surprise, Maybe JRB from The Strata-Sphere
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» Roberts For Supreme Court from Epoch3 Blog
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» Fox News - It's John Roberts from Macmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
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» John Roberts Jr. from The New Wisdom
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» Bush to Nominate John Roberts Jr. from UrbanGrounds
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» SCOTUS: Roberts to be Bush Pick from Opinion Times
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» John Roberts? from bRight & Early
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» SCOTUS: Bush Nomination 1: John C. Roberts from Jeremy-Gilby-dot-com
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» IT’S ROBERTS from Right Wing Nut House
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» Justice John Roberts from The Cassandra Page
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» Listmus Tests from Hard Starboard
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» Judge Roberts Link-a-thon from Down deep in Texas: The View from Waco
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» On the nomination of John Roberts from Back of the Envelope
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» It's Roberts from Penguin Proletariat
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» Roberts Roundup IIL What the Blogs are Saying from Cyber-Conservative
Comments from selected blogs (if I missed your favorite blog, leave me a comment):

First, from my own fellow High Country Bloggers (gotta plug HCBA first!):

Powerpundit: [Read More]

Tracked on July 20, 2005 10:44 AM

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