Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Roberts family

The national press treats us to an examination of Jane Roberts’ views on abortion, as well as to her life story. And then there’s this utterly tasteless piece, written about the way the Roberts children were dressed for their visit to the White House.

I’m waiting for the inevitable line of inquiry regarding Roberts’s Catholicism and his ability to separate his faith, which he "does not wear on his sleeve", from his judgment.

Update: Not surprisingly, Hugh Hewitt is all over this. And for more on the politics of Roberts’s Catholicism, go here (Charlotte Allen) and here (Amy Sullivan).

Discussions - 9 Comments

I spent a pleasant end of afternoon reading a sampling of Roberts’ judicial opinions. I selected those in areas where I have some expertise, such as the regulation of electrical utilities, and more generally, review of administrative agency decisionmaking. I might have a few quibbles with the extent of deference he afforded the agency in a couple of the cases, but--and I speak hear as a left liberal--his intuitions struck me as dead on in the vast majority of them. Generally, when he accorded deference to an agency it didn’t seem like a whitewash--on the contrary he appeared to go through the claims of the party challenging the agency decision in a careful and fairminded way. His judgments display respect for both the judicial process and the political process. In one case I read where the agency did seem out of line or at least not able to explain itself coherently, Roberts found that deference was not warranted. From what I can see, and again I didn’t read them all but only a sampling, his judgments are way above average in technical skill, he seems to have a quite mainstream view of the relatonship between Congress, agencies and the judiciary, and I did not read even a dictum that suggested that Roberts was bringing some kind of ideologically conservative slant to his adjudication. If I had read these opinions without knowing who wrote them and were asked to guess the judge’s politics, I’d venture that he or she was a centrist Clinton Democrat. Now maybe Judge Roberts has been waiting for an appointment to the Supreme Court to come out of the closet as a conservative ideologue. But I doubt it. Don’t expect any shift to the right. Whatever his personal religious beliefs, etc., the professional values that Roberts appears to be imbued with, and indeed exemplifies, are those of an establishment DC jurist-statesman, of an ilk found in both Parties.

That Post piece about how Roberts’ kids were dressed was hardly "tasteless." Seriously, did you see those pictures? The three of them looked like they were dressed for a costume party. Very inappropriate.

Unsurprisingly, the Washington Post tells only part of the story.
While she claims that the way the children were dressed is too coordinated, this Newsday photo shows that the truth is much more interesting.

Shameless promotion alert. I’ve written a funny at The Smoothing Plane, "President withdraws Roberts, Nominates Son of Man". See the Dem replys. Thanks.

The article on the way the Roberts children were dressed was absolutely the most disgusting bit of writing I have seen in a long time. The children were adorable and dressed the way that CHILDREN ought to be dressed on such occasions. I have no doubt that those children are in possession (as are my own) of more than their share of "light up" shoes. But to wear them on such an occasion would have been tacky. And to dress them in the "trendy" dresses and boy’s attire of the day would have been both tacky and inapproprite. Have you seen what passes as appropriate attire for 6 year old girls? People who dress their kids in that kind of thing are either sadly misguided or disgustingly exploitive of their children. They are the ones who are costuming their kids--trying to make them look like "mini me’s" or what they imagine they would look like if they could fit into the sexy styles of today. Good for Mrs. Roberts for not only demonstrating respect for the office her husband is pursuing but for showing enough respect for her children to keep them dressed like CHILDREN.

Say Julie, I get the feeling you’re mildly obsessed with CHILDREN. Maybe the artical was snippy, but those two would have been right at home in 1902. I just hope we get to see more of lil’ Jack’s fine dancin’!!!

Mr. Kartezie, why do the children look like they are going to a costume party? A dress and a short-suit are inappropriate? What would have been appropriate, jeans and a t-shirt?

Phil, must one be obsessed with children to think there is an appropriate way to dress when going to the White House? What would have been better? What would your children be wearing?

1902? hm? The little boy’s outfit is reminiscent of J.F.K. Jr.’s outfit, so it might be outdated...but then again, the suits I wear to work resemble suits worn as old as the end of the early 20th Century, so perhaps I’m outdated as well.

Yes Fred, perhaps you are getting a little outdated. You should consider retiring and becoming a statue. You’d make a fine piece of art in one of your old-timey suits!


It would be an incredible work of aesthetic genius. Thanks Phil!!!

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