Skip to comments.Roberts and Roe: Who Does John Roberts Remind Me Of?
Posted on 07/21/2005 10:30:51 AM PDT by BaghdadBarney
No, not Greg Kinnear or Dan Quayle. Not talking about his looks. Talking about the kind of justice a Justice Roberts would be. Reading through the long profile in today's New York Times confirmed what has sounded right to me all along: Roberts sounds a lot like Justice John Harlan. Harlan was a superb lawyer, possibly the best lawyer to sit on the Court in this century. He was very deeply respectful of the Court and the Constitution, non-doctrinaire but still principled and coherent unlike almost every other justice who has, like Harlan and evidently like Roberts, eschewed grand theories of interpretation. Harlan of course was with the majority in Griswold. That's the case which (as George and Tubbs just wrote in the dead-tree NR) started us down the primrose path of "privacy" jurisprudence. Harlan did not live long enough to put an oar into Roe's water. It really is anyone's guess what he might have done there. The weakness in Harlan's work and it is the question about Roberts and Roe is this: When conventional legal reasoning runs out or is indeterminate, where does one turn? This does not happen everyday on the Court. It happens a lot less, as a matter of fact, than liberals contend. But it happens more often than most conservatives allow. Now, conventional legal reasoning would be enough to do the right thing about abortion if this were 1973. Even pro-choice lawyers and professors were aghast at the slipshod quality of Blackmun's opinion. (Maybe that means Harlan would have dissented. Who can say for sure; even sober lawyers such as Lewis Powelll went south in Roe.) The question now is reversing Roe. Here I think we should be very, very cautious about where we think a Justice Roberts would go. (Note well: I do not know Roberts at all and write this solely based upon what I have read recently about his judicial philosophy.) Dedication to legal craft, the internal logic of law, the Court's role in our system, respect for precedent all the things that Roberts clearly does (and should) value are themselves indeterminate when it comes to this question. Probably, they tilt towards the joint opinion by the three Republican in Casey. I think that to reverse Roe today a justice has to dip into a realm which, to date, John Roberts suggests is not within his judicial comfort zone: moral truth. Precedent matters a lot most of the time. But not when we are talking about fundamental matters of justice. To see that abortion is a fundamental injustice requires moral vision, which John Roberts no doubt possesses. But a justice with the requisite moral vision has to have a stable and coherent account, too, of just how moral truth is part of constitutional law. A justice has to have a cogent reply to the standing twentieth-century judicial accusation against what I have just proposed: Judges must never impose their own moral predilections upon the law.
I think John Roberts will be an outstanding jurist for conservative America.
There were two Supreme Court Justices named John Marshall Harlan.
The first served on the court from 1877 to 1911, and wrote a brilliant dissent on the Plessy v. Ferguson case which as you might recall established "seperate but equal" racial segregation as the law of the land. Harlan's lone voice of dissent on the Supreme Court was a brilliant one, and his opinion led the court in 1954 to overturn legalized segregation in Brown v. Board of Education.
The second Justice Harlan, the first Justice Harlan's grandson, who was named for his grandfather, is more than likely the man this article is referring to. He served on the court from 1955 until 1971 and may have joined White and Rehnquist in dissenting from the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, but that is just speculation.
Funny. He looks to me like a younger, buffer version of Frank Burns from MASH.
He's a good-looking man. Not great but nice in a son-in-law sort of way. And you can't fault that resume. I'm content. Pending some court decisions...
do you think that Thomas, got a conservative pass? Not likely.
I'm hopeful that Roberts will be an improvement over O'Connor. However, according to this Washington Post article, John G. Roberts Jr. has never been a member of the Federalist Society, despite widespread reports that he did belong.
Roberts is a Souter. Who else would a liberal Republican like Bush nominate? George H. W. Bush set the precedent. Bush isn't pro-life anyway, never has been. He has always supported the "but" position, as in against abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or life of mother. He also allowed federal funding on destroyed stem cell lines.
Don't you even wonder why the liberals are rolling over after preparing for "war" early on?
read this and learn how to shut up before you open your mouth and spew doom and gloom, and lies:
Why does NCJW (Rabid left wing group) oppose John Roberts' nomination?
While serving as Deputy Solicitor General in the Bush Administration, Roberts argued for the gag rule in Rust v. Sullivan (1991), by which the federal government barred doctors working in family planning programs receiving federal funds from even discussing abortion options with patients. The brief also argued that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided a question not even posed in the case. The Supreme Court upheld the gag rule on the narrower ground that the rule itself was not unconstitutional.
As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts also argued in an amicus curiae brief in Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic (1993) that protesters from Operation Rescue and six other individuals who blocked access to reproductive health care clinics did not discriminate against women, even though only women could exercise the right to seek an abortion. The year after the Supreme Court endorsed this narrow interpretation, Congress enacted the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) to protect women and health care providers from violence, clinic blockades, and harassment.
Roberts also co-authored an amicus brief for the administration in Lee v. Weisman (1992) in support of letting public high schools include religious activities in their graduation programs. In that case, the court ruled against the government.
eyes look like the runaway bride. Maybe the runaway justice?
Wide-eyed and bush-y tailed?.....
NARAL is rolling over? It's been less than two days? Come on. The reason why you haven't heard as much as YOU want is probably because Bush caught them all off guard as they were certain he was going to appoint a minority or woman or both.
Please, the RATs will be screaming bloody murder soon enough. Hopefully the same crowd will not be a bunch of hypocrites and ask that they shut up about Roberts.
A quick point. In those briefs Roberts makes ample use of the word "We". WE believe Roe was wrongly decided, etc., etc. He was a lawyer arguing for a client...
Wonderful...In other words, this is not a Scalia-like justice and we've been betrayed once again by a Republican President if this guy is right.
he looks like Putin
Roberts argued for the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. It is possible that he made that argument even though he disagreed with it, but it isn't likely, it seems to me.
His wife is pro-life. Can you imagine her chagrin if he were to have a chance to be the 5th vote (along with Thomas, Scalia, and the replacements of Rehnq and Stevens) and he ended up voting with Ginsburg, Souter, Kennedy and Breyer? I honestly can't imagine it.
Most of these people are anti-Republican anti-Bush and they think no one realizes it.
Perhaps it would have been better had they, themselves, been "stealth" candidates and not outted themselves in opposition of everything in the last five years.
They are the minority opinion. They are becoming as much of a joke as the Liberals, because you know what they'll say before they open their mouths. Whereas the people supporting Roberts did NOT jump in the air when speculation was on Clements. These people did, however release the same talking points on her they have used on Roberts. They had the form ready, they only needed the name.
He looks like Larry Hageman (I dream of Jeannie; Dallas).