Wednesday, July 20, 2005
A Bunch of Stuff on John Roberts
Ok, seems Mr. Roberts is a conservative (as if President Bush would appoint anyone else?!). But evaluating his record will be tricky because; 1) He's been on the DC Court of Appeals for only tow years, 2) The briefs he wrote as an attorney reflect his clients views, not his own, and 3) It's hard for any lawyer to say what the law would be in a hypothetical, as so many factors come into play with the law. (Good lawyers always answer.."It depends".)
That last point is critical. On hot button issues or even the mundane, it's difficult (if not impossible) to ask a hypothetical of a potential judge. It's probably even wrong for them to answer such questions (shows prejudice). A seemingly simple question..."Do you support abortion rights?" isn't so simple legally. While a potential justice may support a woman's right to choose (or gun rights or whatever) there still is that 'depends' issue. Do you support a woman's right to choose in the case when she could otherwise deliver a healthy baby (e.g. she's in the final week of gestation) or when the person involved is a minor who is pregnant? (Does she need her parents consent? What if it was her dad who knocked her up.) Regardless of the angle of the hypothetical (as you quickly learn in law school) changing one or two facts in a case can alter the outcome. Real life too is often much more bizarre than any hypothetical. So that's not a good gauge to measure the potential judges view.
Anyway, here's some good resources for you to read and err judge for yourself, as we all know both the media and politicians will be too shrill to listen to.
(He he, notice how the justice pic above is on the right...so clever...)
SCOTUS Blog: Roberts and the Gang of Three