Sunday, September 04, 2005

Eyes Turn To Judge Roberts

With the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, President Bush now has two vacancies to fill on the high court. I believe it has been over 30 years since there were two simultaneous vacancies.

Judge John Roberts has already been nominated to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. I have read a good bit about his rulings and opinions as analyzed by writers of diverse political leanings. Roberts impresses me as a thoughtful and considerate attorney and jurist. I do not agree with all of his views, but I respect his forthrightness, intellect, and good humor.

Now I wonder if Roberts might be considered for Chief Justice. He is young enough to hold that position for a generation, cementing Bush’s influence on the court for just as long. And even as a young attorney in the Reagan White House, Roberts showed great candor and persuasion over older and more experienced attorneys.

With growing public opposition to America’s presence in Iraq, criticism to the slow federal response to the Katrina disaster, and flagging poll numbers, Bush might want to avoid a confirmation fight on the US Senate floor and take the easy confirmation Roberts would likely produce. And I think that centrists and lefties could hardly be more pleased than to have Roberts confirmed. Any alternative would likely be more conservative.


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