Wednesday, July 20, 2005

|| offers "One Pro-Lifer's View"

Augustine of || has a problem:
My chief complaint about the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court was a simple one - that with several strong, confirmable potential nominees with definite positions on Roe, we should not have to guess at the nominee's position.
I understand his concern. Judge Roberts has only two years on any bench. While he has drawn the ire of Reasonable organizations, there's no hard evidence that his views are ones that prolifers would welcome. As Augustine says:
Roberts does not come to us with a long paper record. The oft-cited anti-Roe quote from a brief during Roberts' Dep. Solicitor days is really the only positive evidence that we have on paper of his views - and as anyone knows, such an opinion is just a statement of Bush I Administration policy, and does not necessarily represent the views of the author (he also, of course, described Roe as the "settled law of the land" in his lower court confirmation). And in his time as a judge, Roberts has built a record that has more in common with Rehnquist than Thomas or Scalia. Considering his age and the way some justices change once confirmed, my chief concern with Roberts was not with how he would act on immediate cases before the court - but how he would act in 10 years.
However, while hard evidence may be lacking, soft evidence abounds. Again, Augustine notes:
However, there are two things that should encourage all of those who care about the life issue: 1. The close of Roberts remarks this evening - where he said: "I also want to acknowledge my children, my daughter, Josie, my son, Jack, who remind me every day why it's so important for us to work to preserve the institutions of our democracy" - becomes more meaningful when you realize that his children are adopted. This is not a typical thing for a nominee to say, and I do not believe this line was an accident. 2. Roberts is married to the former Executive Vice President of Feminists for Life. This matters, and it cannot be underestimated. Look at Ginny Thomas and Maureen Scalia - one does not sleep in the same bed as someone who has dedicated themselves to this cause without ramifications. The strong opinions of the New York Times will not beat out the strong opinions of a dedicated spouse.
As I mentioned yesterday, Judge Roberts gives every indication that he'll respect his authority as an interpreter of law. He's not likely to become another Souter. Of course, it's difficult to predict what ten or fifteen years on the court would do to one's perspective. Still, Roberts remains a promising candidate. I'm pleased he's adopted his children, and that his wife is a former Executive Vice President of Feminists for Life. I can imagine him more as a prolife Justice than a closet pro-abort when I consider his family life. Unless he has a troubled relationship with his wife over conflicting politics, they're likely on the same page regarding abortion.

Judge Roberts deserves the support of all Fools. President Bush's bold choice demonstrates that he stands by his promise to the prolife movement. Let's make sure that Congress honors that promise. Ultreya!

Update: Mark Brumley of Ignatius Insight Scoop has more good news on Judge Roberts:
It is noteworthy that he is a practicing Catholic...
. Wikpedia confirms this. He's a practicing Catholic married to a former Executive Vice President of Feminists for Life with adopted children, and he's served as Associate Soliciter General for a pro-life President. This is good news indeed!