Friday, July 22, 2005

Roberts--Not a "Comfortable" Originalist.

Judge Robert's does not want to be straitjacketed by labels. Christianity Today Magazine covers his struggle here. He has an interesting point to make about his "originalism" in his first confimation hearing:
In that same hearing during an exchange with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Roberts resisted attempts to categorize his judicial philosophy. "I don't know if that's a flaw for a judicial nominee or not, not to have a comprehensive philosophy about constitutional interpretation, to be able to say, 'I'm an originalist, I'm a textualist, I'm a literalist, or this or that.' I just don't feel comfortable with any of those particular labels," Roberts told Durbin. "One reason is that as the Constitution uses the term 'inferior court judge,' I'll be bound to follow the Supreme Court precedent regardless of what type of constructionist I, personally, might be."

Roberts likely would not have been confirmed to the appeals court had he brazenly resisted clear Supreme Court precedent. So his earlier comments cannot sufficiently predict how Roberts would act as a Supreme Court justice.
That's precisely right. This time, he's not being nominated to an "inferior bench". As a SCOTUS justice, he would no longer bound by Supreme Court precedent as he is while sitting on the D.C. Circuit COAs.

Democrats will most certainly raise this issue in the hearings. They will try to pin him down to a philosophy that they reject. Judge Roberts will need to demonstrate that his judicial philosophy serves the best interests of the Court and of society. If he does this successfully, then the Dems will have no traction to oppose his nomination.

Supporters should take heart when they hear about his earlier testimony. It shows his belief in the appropriate practice of a Judge. This bodes well for those that question the legally specious reasoning that's evident in Roe. Judge Robert's has legal reasons to reconsider that controversial precedent. Let alone moral reasons.