Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Supremes

A story that will be developing this week will be the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on Judge John G. Roberts, Jr.

Originally Judge Roberts was nominated by the President to be an associate Justice of the Supreme Court. But with the recent passing of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, the President chose to resubmit Judge Roberts' nomination for Chief Justice.

Ironically, had the Chief Justice lived another week, it may have been too late for the President to submit Roberts for Chief Justice. Had the Chief Justice lived longer, it would have been an historical moment for the former clerk of Chief Justice Rehnquist to be on the bench at the same time with his former mentor. (assuming Judge Roberts gets confirmed, that is)

Maybe that is why the Chief Justice was trying to hold out, when it was obvious to all that he wasn't physically up to his duties? Nobody can deny the legacy of the Chief Justice over the many years he lead the Supreme Court. But maybe a bit of common sense would have spared us all the trouble that will surely come during the confirmation process.

Already outside forces are trying to control the way this process will go. Misleading ads have been put on television in order to sway public opinion. This is a deceitful action that should be made illegal by our elected officials. There is a law regarding truth in advertising of products, there should be a law regarding the truth in political ads.

It's already a great disservice to the process that lobbyists & political action committees have a strong grip over our elected officials. Lately the NAACP has come out strongly against Judge Roberts. They feel he is against their interests. I say it's not their right to be part of this process in this manner. They shouldn't have more say in this matter than I do. It goes against the "One person, one vote" ideal that we hold so dear. The NAACP doesn't speak for all America, let alone a vast majority. We cherish the idea that the minority has to be protected, but the majority does rule. For the NAACP to assert that their opinion should be more important than ours goes against everything that we hold dear. Something should be done to prevent organizations like this from trying to hold the process hostage.

Another problem with the system is members of the Senate who aren't on the Judiciary committee trying to get involved before the nominee gets sent to the full Senate with a recommendation. This is another way for the public to be mislead by a partisan politico who wants to grab some power that doesn't belong to them. Even members of the committee can try a power grab by voicing "concerns" prematurely. A prime offender of this is the senior Senator from Massachusetts, Edward "Ted" Kennedy. He isn't the Chairman of this committee, but he acts like his opinion is the only one that counts. Why this man is even in the Senate is a mystery to me. This is why Senator Kennedy shouldn't have any credibility, let alone be a Senator:

On the evening of July 19, 1969, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts drove his Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning his passenger, a young campaign worker named Mary Jo Kopechne. The senator left the scene of the accident, did not report it to the police for many hours, and according to some accounts considered concocting an alibi for himself in the interim.
At the time, Kennedy managed to escape severe legal and political consequences for his actions thanks to his family's connections (which helped to contain the inquest and grand jury) and to a nationally televised "Checkers"-like speech broadcast a week after the accident. But virtually no journalist who has closely examined the evidence fully believes Kennedy's story, and almost 30 years later, the tragedy still trails the senator, with aggressive press investigations revived in five-year anniversary intervals.

The voters of Massachusetts must not care that they have a criminal in such a high public office thanks to them. The memory of JFK should not allow letting this criminal to be such a loud voice in our Legislative Branch of the government.

Back on target now. The Senate should have the nominee in committee first. Let the nominee speak BEFORE any of these partisan blowhards get to say one word to the public. Also, don't put words in Judge Roberts' mouth.

Interest groups need to stay out of this, it's not their place. Too many scare tactic rumors are being told. Let's take one as an example.

Abortion is about to be made illegal. Even if Roe vs Wade gets overturned, there are laws on the books in the individual states that would keep "a woman's right to choose" safe. But if you listen to these interest groups, we are only weeks away from women having to get "back alley abortions". That's something that an uninformed public will remember, even if it's totally false. These groups and politicos count on the public's gullibility to keep their agendas moving.

Judge Roberts filed briefs for the government that are against those supporters of pro-choice. It was his JOB, not his beliefs that had him do this. He didn't CHOOSE this position, it was decided for him by the administration he served. His wife is a supporter of pro-life groups, but that is his wife, hot the Judge. He has gone on record as saying that his beliefs won't prevent him from enforcing the law as it is. This basically says he isn't going to be a judicial activist. He won't let his emotions be his guide, but the law.

Another myth is that Judge Roberts is all for the pre Civil Rights era. You'd think he wanted slavery brought back by listening to groups like the NAACP. Again, these groups are trying to put Judge Roberts' beliefs on trial rather than him enforcing the law. It's a way to make the public think Judge Roberts is against minority rights - when nothing about the man says that.

Judge Roberts has a distinguished record. He has an education that makes lawyers envious. He is eminently qualified for this position. If he wasn't, then the Senate wouldn't have UNANIMOUSLY confirmed his to a Judgeship, just TWO YEARS ago. But the politicos want us to believe that it's a different situation now, because it's the Supreme Court. That's a load of crap, and they know it. They just hope that by saying it enough, maybe it'll get believed.

Judge Roberts deserves to be confirmed as Chief Justice. Anyone who tries to tarnish his reputation needs to be slapped. If he is so wrong for the job, then why didn't you say so two years ago? Where was all the outrage then? Nobody voted against him then, so what changed?

What changed is that Democrats are afraid that they are slowly, but surely, becoming irrelevant.

This isn't the battle to wage. The one to worry about is the next nominee that the President will nominate. Justice O'Connor will stay on until she is replaced, or that was the deal when Judge Roberts was nominated to replace her.

Will she still stay on now that Judge Roberts is being nominated to replace the deceased Chief Justice? Let's hope so, the court doesn't need a vacancy at this time.

I am sorry to say this, but I don't think the President should nominate a woman, or even an ethnic minority, to replace Justice O'Connor. I think he should nominate Senator John Cornyn of Texas. He is a lawyer, and is well respected by both sides of the isle in Congress. He would make a fine Justice, and he isn't TOO conservative that the left can complain. (but they will, it's what they DO)

I think it's a mistake to nominate the Attorney General. He would have to recuse himself if something comes before the Court that involves him in his capacity as Attorney General, or when he was chief counsel to the President.

The only women qualified for the spot just had a rough time being confirmed to Federal Judgeships. Judge Janice Rogers-Brown isn't as good a choice as judge Priscilla Owen, but they would be too controversial to have up for confirmation again.

I would prefer Judge Owen to replace Justice O'Connor, but I don't think the left would allow that. Because of that, I think Senator Cornyn should be nominated. THIS nominee will be raked over the coals, so it should be someone who the Democrats can't really object to.

Keep in mind, the Republicans hold the majority. The "Constitutional Option" could be used to negate the "Nuclear Option" that the Democrats hold as a threat over Republicans. The bottom line is that the President will get these two spots filled with whomever he wants. If he has to play rough, I'm sure Senator Frist will push the nominee(s) through.

But it's a process that belongs to the Senate. Outside interest groups should keep out of it. The Supreme Court is supposed to be neutral. Applying pressure from the outside tarnishes this process that has been in place for so many, many years.