Skip to comments.Dems weigh how Roberts vote will play (“I think this guy really is conservative”)
Posted on 08/02/2005 10:54:42 PM PDT by Libloather
Dems weigh how Roberts vote will play
By Geoff Earle
As new information emerges about Judge John Robertss conservative writing, Republicans are bracing for a more contentious confirmation process than previously anticipated. But the tougher grilling could also provide those Democrats mulling a run for the White House with a golden opportunity to build constituencies and raise their national profiles.
The Roberts vote, slated for late September, could have a high enough profile that Democratic primary voters will remember it in 2006 and 2007, particularly if Roberts is confirmed and the Supreme Court hands down a major ruling on a divisive issue such as abortion.
No Senate Democrats have yet said they would confirm Roberts, although several, including Sens. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), spoke highly of his credentials soon after Bush nominated him.
In recent weeks, newspapers have closely examined Robertss work in the Reagan Justice Department, calling attention to his writings on school busing, affirmative action and womens athletics.
I think this guy really is conservative, said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. I think its going to come back to haunt any Democrats who vote for him.
Civil rights, environment, abortion youre starting to talk about fairly big swaths of the Democratic primary electorate, Lake continued. New Hampshire is one of the more pro-choice states in the country. People dont realize what some of these early states are like.
Many people in the base of the party who are going to be important in primaries are going to be watching this and are probably moving towards thinking Roberts is more extreme than everyone first thought, said Steve Elmendorf, a former aide to Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) and campaign adviser to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) who is now a strategist with Bryan Cave.
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) is carefully weighing the Roberts vote as he attends fundraisers and other events in the early primary state of Iowa this week.
Bayh told The Indianapolis Star that it was a hopeful indication that Bush consulted with the Senate about the nomination, but he said it was important to ask, Is he willing to interpret the laws and the Constitution in accordance with the will of the voters and the intent of the Framers and not have some kind of personal ideological agenda hes hoping to implement?
Bayh, who is considered a Democratic centrist, voted against two other high-profile Bush nominees: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Kerry, last years Democratic presidential nominee, has been an aggressive advocate in the Senate for gathering more information about Robertss record.
We cannot do our duty if either Judge Roberts or the Bush administration hides elements of his professional record, Kerry said last month.
The push for documents, however, could have its share of pitfalls for Democrats, especially if they are perceived as overreaching in what they demand from Roberts, other Democratic strategists noted.
Arguing over whether or not he has to turn over every memo that he wrote in the Justice Department in the Reagan administration is what I would describe as an instinctively partisan issue that has nothing to do with what the American people care about, said Lanny Davis, a former special counsel to President Clinton who is now a lobbyist with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), a Judiciary member who has said he is exploring a presidential bid, will have an opportunity to raise his profile during the Roberts hearings, which start on the afternoon of Sept. 6. By reserving judgment but probing Roberts, Biden could reinforce the image of what Lake called his thoughtful and studious approach.
The Roberts vote will also be important to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who far outpaces other Democrats in early polling for 2008. Clinton, like other Democrats, has not indicated how she would vote, saying she will wait until the hearings to find out whether Judge Roberts is truly a guardian of the rule of law who puts fairness and justice before ideology. But Clinton, a favorite among liberals even though she is a prominent member of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, voted for the Rice nomination.
They're so scared....
If the dems think that attacking Mr. Roberts is a winner for them, I say BRING IT ON!
I certainly hope not. That's not the job of a Supreme Court Justice!
Just as long as Ruth Buzzy Ginsburg can pass the same test...
And the French-looking idiot from Massachusetts is an expert on hiding records.
How's that for in-depth analysis from the Dims? What's next from them, "I think it's really hot in the summer"???
Roberts is looking better to me all the time.
See? Your common sense has open their can of 'global warming' worms. (Can't you keep this quiet until the fall?)
I can keep it quiet. But even if I don't, it isn't like the Dims would know what to do...
Just like you did when you chaired the Clarence Thomas hearings and when you got caught plagiarizing speeches? I can't wait.
Dear God in heaven. I'm really disappointed that Evan Bayh is that stupid. Geeeeeeesh. Even though I disagree with him, I thought he was one of the more "sensible" Dim-o-rats.
Oh well, just look what thoughts will do.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Let's hope so.
Well I hear that he is very, very, very conservative. Very.
Either way it's a no-win situation for Hillary..
I hope they do try to hold up Roberts and slander him both on the basis of his faith and his political beliefs.
All of this puts before a whole new group of voters just what the real game has been all these years.
My gripe is the the GOP is not highlighting issues like eminent domain and gay marriage in all of this.
If, as is probably correct, the Roberts vote energizes the Dem base, which is hard left...remember where the first Dem priaries are..
The will of the voters? The intent of the framers? Which? He can't necessarily do both, and if he chooses the will of the voters over the intent of the framers, then of course he would be hoping to implement "some kind of personal ideological agenda."
Bayh speaks out of both sides of his mouth, but that's not news.