Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Left on Roberts

This thread on the Daily Kos contains lots of despairing comments about how hard it’s going to be effectively to oppose Roberts. Here’s a sample:

Listen guys, he ain’t Thurgood Marshall, but the fact is that we got 45 seats in the senate, and 7 of our guys are not gonna agree to a filibuster (Roberts ain’t exactly an extraordinary circumstance).

Confirm him quickly, and let’s get back on our issues for the 2006 elections.

Democrats gain absolutely nothing by opposing, filibustering, or otherwise delaying his confirmation to the bench. He’s simply not conservative enough to be sufficiently "Borked". Democrats will look petty trying to dig up phrases and isolated sentances from his legal writings.

Instead, let’s have the Democrats ask a few tough questions, and let’s get back on Karl Rove, Tom Delay, and the issues that we can get traction on for the 2006 elections.

Of course, if we find out next week that this guy was a slaveowner, I’ll feel pretty stupid. I’m not saying "Let’s not examine him". I’m just saying that we get nothing out of drawing his confirmation out.

Here’s the Alliance for Justice brief against Roberts when he was nominated for the D.C. circuit. A quick scan of the document suggests to me that he’s an extremely effective advocate, writing lots of briefs to which the Alliance objects, but with which the Supreme Court ultimately agreed.

Other useful previews of the opposition are press releases from NARAL, PFAW, the Alliance for Justice, and the ACLU. Only NARAL has already announced its opposition; the others are simply now expressing their concerns.

My guess is that the Democrats will make a lot of noise and demand all sorts of documentation from the Reagan and Bush 41 Administrations, but will quickly realize that they don’t have the votes to sustain a filibuster, especially against the threat of a change in the Senate rules. Roberts holds all the Republican votes and gets a couple of Democrats to boot.

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