The Roberts Nomination – What’s at Stake?

If you’re not paying attention — you should be. The first day of the Roberts nomination hearing has come to a close. The day was filled with statements on the nomination by the various members of the Judiciary committee, there’s more on that here, here and here. I checked around the blogosphere to see what’s being posted about the hearings… not much, considering this nomination could affect the direction of the Supreme court for the next 20 – 30 years and involve 8 – 9 presidential terms.

There are some major issues at stake. Issues that will affect the future of our country for generations to come. We simply cannot sit back and wring our hands and say well, they ARE the majority, and it’s a shoe-in, because we’ve seen in recent weeks how the support for the majority has fallen.

Senator Ted Kennedy, Ralph Neas of People for the American Way and Joe Trippi joined a large group of bloggers earlier this evening on a conference call about the Roberts nomination.


Senator Kennedy said that the Roberts nomination hearings are “John Roberts job interview with the American people.” Roberts “owes it to the American people”, to let them know where he stands on issues of importance. In discussing today’s statements from his Republican colleagues, he said that they were “working from the same playbook” and asked “why don’t ‘they’ want us to know about him”, referring to the papers that the Bush administration has refused to release.

Kennedy reminded us that the Supreme Court Chief Justice is the people’s Justice, not the administration’s Justice. Roberts should be expected to answer questions about legal principles. Kennedy mentioned that Republicans said today that Ginsberg did not answer questions, but she did (See this thread for more – Bullet Point Arguments on Senator Hatch’s Opening Statement on the Roberts’ Nomination).

Tomorrow, each Senator will have a 30 minute session to ask Roberts questions. Expect to hear Kennedy question Roberts on Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Rights to Privacy and more. “No one is entitled to be Supreme Court Chief Justice — you have to win that — with the American public and the Senate,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy voted against Roberts when he was nominated for the DC Circuit Court, because he did not answer questions. We can expect Kennedy to hold to the same principle in this nomination as well.

Ralph Neas of People for the American Way said that we are “courting disaster” with the Robert’s nomination. More than 100 Supreme Court decisions could be overturned with Roberts. Roberts has been a “key lieutenant” in the Republican’s fight to “turn back the clock” on issues such as civil rights, women’s rights, religious liberty, right to privacy and more.

Neas said that Roberts is the “darling of the corporate community.” Given that we can expect Roberts to side with corporate business, rather than consumers. Expect to more turn backs on the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, as Roberts pushes the Bush “energy whore’s” interest before the environment.

There’s far too much at stake here, my friends. If you have not contacted your Senator to let them know your feelings about Roberts as Supreme Court Chief Justice, the time to do that is nowTell Senate Roberts wrong for Chief Justice. There are a few moderate Republicans who may sway, including Chaffee, Collins and Snowe. There are a wealth of resources on the John Roberts nomination at SaveTheCourt.org.

The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee need to hear from you, Harry Reid needs to hear from you, your Senator needs to here from you. Say NO to Roberts for Supreme Court Justice!

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27 Responses to The Roberts Nomination – What’s at Stake?

  1. Teresa says:

    I always had a hunch that Roberts was not going to make it. Of course, I am highly prone to wishful thinking but it’s not over till it’s over.

  2. Teresa,

    Praying, burning incense, chanting….

  3. Teresa says:

    I’d even get baptized in the Mississippi River at this point.

  4. Teresa

    Me too! And, maybe Donnie can send us some of those special dolls from LA that we can stick pins in! LOL!

    Speaking of which…

    Donnie, I suppose Marie Laveau’s is gone from NOLA?

    I have a Marie Laveau doll someone got me as a gift! It’s on my desk.

  5. Teresa says:

    My genius artist husband (now departed from the earth plane, sadly) met me in NOLA. He made me one of those special dolls which I still have. Let me know if I am needed in this effort.

    I know we can do it!

  6. Ginny in CO says:

    How about some Wiccans?

    Teresa, I’ll stick with Pamela on praying, incense*, and add my Nepal singing bowl.

    *Pamela, check your mail :O

    Marjorie,
    If you check this out in the am, I was really cutting it close to get to work and never got dinner let alone a chance to check in til 1 am. I like those chats too 🙂

  7. Ron Chusid says:

    It’s not only a question if Roberts can be stopped.

    Another goal should be that if Roberts is confirmed due to GOP control of the Senate, independent voters see this as a bad thing and reason to vote for Democrats to control the Senate next year.

    The hearings can also be a time to highlight differences between Democrats and Republicans, especially with a majority backing Democrats on the major issues likely to come up.

  8. Ron Chusid says:

    One reason there was little said yesterday is that Roberts prepared statements weren’t bad. Things will heat up when he is pressed further on the issues.

  9. kj says:

    Spector just finished, Leahy beginning now.

    FYI: contact the Senate via:
    http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

  10. kj says:

    Oh shoot, can’t believe it, I just missed part of Senator Kennedy’s questions to John Roberts…. arrrrrrg

  11. Morning!

    Uncle Teddy on the voting rights act…

  12. kj says:

    Yep… go Uncle Teddy! Waiting for Robert’s answer…

  13. Uncle Teddy is pissed….

  14. kj says:

    No kidding… Robert’s is blowing off the Lion of the Senate…

  15. He’s not a very smart man, is he… LOL!

  16. kj says:

    Oh shoot… here we go. “Senator, you did not accurately … my position.” Kennedy, “These are your words…” Spector interrupts.

  17. kj says:

    Roberts “It was my job to articulate the Administration’s policy.”
    So, what position was he holding at the time? I’m confused.

  18. Evading… evading the question…

  19. Ron Chusid says:

    Actually this is a major question. To what degree did Roberts represent the Reagan Administration’s positions and what are his actual positions?

    It may be acceptable for him to argue that something he said is not his position if he was representing someone else. The question is whether he gives a meaningful answer as to what his positions are if he should take this defense.

  20. kj says:

    Ron, exactly. He seems to have answered Specter fairly cleanly and Specter went right to the heart of Roe vs. Wade. Roberts is, imo, very smart politically to have answered Specter so clearly.

  21. kj says:

    Meant to say above, that Specter (re-watching now on C-Span) specifically asked Robert’s to state his leanings as of today, not just in the past.

  22. Nick says:

    Roberts is just snotty. Of course I expect that from a guy who went to elite private schools his whole life and never gave any thought to anybody outside his own social class. thank god some rich folks have consciences (e.g. FDR, JFK, RFK, and of course JK).
    The good news is that even if Roberts is confirmed
    1. Most Democrats will not vote to confirm, thereby setting up a contrast with the GOP and
    2. By replacing rehnquist with Roberts, your just replacing one right-wing conservative with another right-wing conservative. Ergo, the Court will not be moving further to the right even if Roberts is confirmed. The conservative vote Rehnquist could be expected to provide before will not be provided by Roberts. I know folks here would rather Kerry have been elected to nominate a liberal (a view I share 100%). But like any doctor, we must first make sure no harm is done. Regardless of the Roberts outcome, Bush can’t do any harm here.

  23. Nick

    I fear Roberts is far worse than Rehnquist, far worse. They have been grooming him for years. He’s a corporate whore, he’s not about to protect civil rights. This will affect the Supreme Court for 20 – 30 years, the harm is far too serious.

  24. Ginny in CO says:

    Nick,

    Sorry, I know these are conversastions that get typed fast. This is just one of my peeves about the misperception of JK. This is for the readers who are getting more knowledgeable about JK.

    JK didn’t grow up “rich”. They were reasonably well off, but from Hillary’s bio, I think she was higher middle class than the Kerry’s.
    Back then, reasonably well off meant you didn’t have to go to Salvation Army for a lot of your clothes. You had money for family vacations and music instruments.
    His boarding schools were pretty much the only option for Dept of State civil servants in overseas jobs and the one here was paid for by a spinster aunt. In college, he was one of the few that had little pocket money.
    He worked hard, had a small business on the side and then married rich,
    (And I have no doubt Kerry considers Teresa “worth more than rubies”)

    You can learn more about JK at

    http://www.johnkerry.com/about/john_kerry/

  25. bartkid says:

    >affect the direction of the Supreme court for the next 20 – 30 years and involve 8 – 9 presidential terms.

    Uh, 20 years = 5 presidential terms and 30 years = 8 presidential terms (rounding up).

  26. Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    I am somewhat happy with Roberts answer re Row v. Wade.

    Unfortunately this is not enough. While I think there are potential choices far worse than Roberts, his acceptance of Row v Wade is not sufficient.

    I remain concerned about his lack of support for privacy rights. I’m also concerned that Republicans can do a lot to restrict abortion rights by making abortions harder to obtain without outright overturning Row v. Wade. My bet is that Roberts would go along with such measures.

    I hope there is specific questioning on the rights to privacy and as to what types of restictions on abortion he might find Constitutional. (I’m just picking up bits and pieces of the questioning, so maybe someone has gotten to this.)