Skip to comments.John Roberts: A Winning Pick
Posted on 07/20/2005 12:10:32 PM PDT by stocksthatgoup
The selection of Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court has hit another grand slam. It has left the Left twisting slowly in the wind, although the Left does not know it yet. Why?
First, two years ago Judge Roberts was overwhelmingly confirmed by the United States Senate. Anything brought up now about his integrity or qualifications will look ridiculous, and it will make Democrats opposing him purely partisan.
Second, Roberts is young, attractive and articulate. He looks like the good guy in any confrontation with frumps like Leahy, Kennedy and Schumer. This means that in a public relations battle, Roberts will look like an honorable victim and his enemies will look like thugs.
Third, the conventionality of his selection picking a judge from the D.C. Circuit who has worked in Washington, and one who will probably get a high rating from the ABA reduces the areas of controversy.
Fourth, although it ought not to matter, Judge Roberts was born in New York, raised in Indiana, went to Harvard and lives in Maryland. This makes it much easier for Republicans like Santorum, Chafee, DeWine, Snowe and Collins to support him and it makes it harder for Democrats like Byrd, Bayh and even Clinton to oppose him.
Fifth, the selection puts a young man on the Supreme Court. He will be on the Supreme Court for a long time, and his ideological record and makes him as near a sure thing as conservative can desire. Mortality increases works against the Left John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi are the ingénue of the Left and young, vigorous conservatives know that time is on their side.
Sixth, the Left is blindsided. They expected a woman. They expected a first, like a black woman or an Hispanic. They expected Bush to pander to affirmative action, and he politely and clearly rejected that approach. That means that President Bush has a half step lead in the battle, which means Democrats will be reacting, not attacking.
Seventh, Susan Estrich has already begun saying that she really wanted a woman, but that sort of talk sounds utterly phony when President Bush pushed so hard for Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. Democrats will actually lose male votes (half the electorate) if they keep yelping the gender war cry. What is true for women is also true of blacks and Hispanics, both attacked by the Democrats who supposedly champion their cause. This appointment is not the death knell of affirmative action and quotas, but it is a good shot across the bow.
Eighth, his confirmation by a voice vote two years ago means that Senate Democrats like Nelson of Nebraska and Nelson of Florida and other 2006 candidates from Red states will pay a price if support a filibuster or oppose his confirmation. It puts Harry Reid and the Senate Minority leadership behind the eight ball: they can look like the real extremists, or they can not fight hard.
Nine, President Bush will win this battle. That means that the perception that his second term will be plagued with problems will lose steam. This can be the building of momentum going into the 2006 elections. Winning creates political capital. Getting nominees confirmed, fairly easily, will make the President more popular and influential.
Tenth, when President Bush wins this court battle, it will make it even easier for him to win the next court battles. Democrats who complain that Roberts is not a female may well face, in the next appointment, a conservative woman jurist, making President Bush look responsive to their concerns (and, if they complain, making their concerns look silly.)
Eleventh, if this battle goes well, the Chief Justice Rehnquist may well be more inclined to retire soon. Others, like Stevens, may have to retire soon. Some, like Kennedy, may prefer to retire. Soon, very soon, we may have a Bush Court.
Twelfth, the timing of the appointment and the universally recognized integrity of Judge Roberts takes Karl Rove off the front pages. It forces Democrats to either stop talking about Rove or to start talking about Roberts, and if they keep talking about Rove, then it makes it appear as if they do not consider the Supreme Court all that important. Misunderestimated again.
Below is a link to a new thread showing what Judge Roberts did for America last week as a judge:
Bush's Justice and the War on Terror
Front Page Magazine ^ | 07/20/05 | Henry Mark Holzer
Posted on 07/20/2005 10:58:36 AM PDT by smoothsailing
Bush's Justice and the War on Terror
By Henry Mark Holzer
July 20, 2005
The media coverage of President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts, Jr., to the O'Connor seat on the Supreme Court of the United States has understandably focused on his legal background and conservative credentials.
Because the court on which he now sitsthe United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuithas twelve justices who sit in random panels of three, and because Judge Roberts has been a member of that court for only two years, critics of his nomination such as Kennedy, Leahy, Durbin and Schumer will have a limited number of cases on the basis of which to attack him.
In an odd quirk, the case upon which they may rely most was decided only last Friday. Two other circuit judges (one of whom wrote the opinion) and Judge Roberts unanimously rendered a decision that strikes a blow for our country in our War on Terror.
Salim Ahmed Hamdan was admittedly Osama bin Laden's driver in Afghanistan from 1996 to two months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in Washington, DC, and New York City.
On November 13, 2001, President Bush, with Congressional approval, promulgated an Order relating to the "Detention, Treatment and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism. That Order, among other provisions, created Military Tribunals.
Hamdan was captured by Afghani troops in Afghanistan in late November 2001, turned over to the American military, and then interned at Guantanamo.
In July 2003, the President determined that there was reason to believe Hamdan was either a member of al Qaeda or otherwise engaged in terrorism against the United States.
In accordance with President Bush's Order of November 13, 2001, and his July 2003 determination that good cause existed to believe Hamdan was a terrorist, he was marked to be tried before a Military Commission.
In December 2003, Hamdan was appointed counsel.
In April 2004, he filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the District of Columbiaeven though at that time there was no federal statute or Supreme Court decision that allowed Hamdan, an "enemy combatant," to do so.
But Hamdan, and the rest of the Guantanamo detainees didn't have long to wait.
Just two months later, the Supreme Court of the United States in the cases of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Rasul v. Bush ruled that "enemy combatants" were entitled not only to file petitions for habeas corpus (anywhere in the United States), but were also entitled to due process of law. Sandra Day O'Connor was the fifth, swing vote that allowed the Court's four liberalsStevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyerto so handcuff our country's defense against terrorists.
While Hamdan's habeas corpus petition was pending, he was formally charged with conspiracy to attack civilians, murder, destruction of property and terrorism. In addition to charging that Hamdan was bin Laden's driver, it was alleged that the defendant served as bin Laden's bodyguard, delivered weapons to al Qaeda members, and trained at an al Qaeda camp.
As a result of the Hamdi decision, Hamdi went before a Combatant Status Review Tribunal, which found that he was indeed an enemy combatant "either a member of or affiliated with Al Qaeda." Consequently, his continued detention was required.
Enter judge James Robertson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Here is his biography:
Judge Robertson was appointed United States District Judge in December 1994 [by William Jefferson Clinton].
He graduated from Princeton University in 1959 and received an LL.B. from George Washington University Law School in 1965 after serving in the U.S. Navy. From 1965 to 1969, he was in private practice with the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering [Lloyd Cutler was, for a while, White House counsel to President Clinton]. From 1969 to 1972, Judge Robertson served with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, as chief counsel of the Committee's litigation offices in Jackson, Mississippi, and as director in Washington, D.C. Judge Robertson then returned to private practice with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, where he practiced until his appointment to the federal bench. While in private practice, he served as president of the District of Columbia Bar, co-chair of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and president of Southern Africa Legal Services and Legal Education Project, Inc.
On November 8, 2004perhaps driven by his own politics, but certainly by the license given him by O'Connor's Hamdi and Rasul decisionsRobertson granted a part of Hamdan's habeas corpus petition.
Essentially, Robertson ruled that bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist driver might be covered by the 1949 Geneva Convention as a prisoner of war, and until a competent tribunal found otherwise Hamdan (and, by implication, anyone like Hamdan) could not be tried by a military commission. To enforce his ruling, Robertson enjoined the Defense Department from conducting any further proceedings against Hamdan.
The government appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Only two "friend of the court" briefs were filed supporting the government: the "Washington Legal Foundation" and "The American Center for Law and Justice."
"Friends of the court" supporting the terrorist included dozens of law professors, "305 United Kingdom and European Parliamentarians," "Military Attorneys Detailed to Represent Ali Hamza Amhad Sulayman Al Bahlui," "Military Law Practitioners and Academicians," "National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers," "Human Rights First," "General Merrill A. McPeak," "People for the American Way," "The World Organization for Human Rights USA," "Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights"and, worst of all, the prestigious "Association of the Bar of the City of New York."
Despite this array of "friends," the Court of Appeals panelone of whom was John G. Roberts, Jr., President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Courtreversed Judge Robertson, rejecting his conclusion that Hamdan was covered by the Geneva Convention, which could be enforced in a United States federal court. Robertson had conveniently ignored the Supreme Court precedent of Johnson v. Eisentrager (which the current liberal Court majority massaged, in order to reach its conclusion in Rasul), which held that the Geneva Convention, a compact between governments, was not judicially enforceable in a private lawsuit. Period!
Hamdan had made two other arguments. One was that a particular Army Regulation provided relief for him. It requires that prisoners receive Geneva Convention protection "until some other legal status is determined by competent authority." (Emphasis added) The Court of Appeals ruled that President Bush was such a competent authority. To the extent that the Army Regulation requires a "competent tribunal" to determine his status, the Court of Appeals ruled that a military commission is one. So if the Army Regulation even applies, Hamdan can tell the commission that he should be considered a prisoner of war.
Last, and since the Geneva Convention issue appears to be settled, most important both for the War on Terror and the War for the Supreme Court, is Hamdan's argument that President Bush had no power to constitute military commissions because Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution gives the power to "constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court" only to Congress.
As to this argument, the Court of Appeals ruled, and reminded Judge Robertson, that when President Bush promulgated his order of November 13, 2001, he had relied on various sources of authority: Commander in Chief, the post-9/11 Congressional authorization to use force in the War on Terror, the Articles of War, the World War II cases of Ex parte Quirin and In re Yamashita. Said the Court of Appealssaid nominee Roberts, by joining the majority opiniongiven the foregoing, "It is impossible to see any basis for Hamdan's claim that Congress has not authorized military commissions".
Although Hamdan v. Rumsfeld has struck an important blow against the War on Terror (and in the process rebuked an obviously Left-wing federal judge), we have not heard the last of the case or the crucially important issues it has raised. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is only one of thirteen circuit courts, in any of which these same issues can be litigated. One way or another, they will reach the Supreme Court of the United States.
When they do, the cases will be heard by a newly appointed justice who is not merely the conservative that the President promised, but one who understands the Constitution, the appropriate manner of its interpretation, and, of utmost importance today, the seriousness of our War on Terror.
I agree with this. For those that thought Bush should hold Roberts back, I think you need to get the first one thru before you can put up the really contentious picks.
Here is what the left is saying about Judge Roberts:
What a hoot. The fems would oppose a conservative women, but would support a liberal man - although they say they support the advancement of women, they really don't give a damn about the advancement of women.
Hell, they'd support a rapist if he was pro-abortion.
I'm starting to wonder if Rove dreamed that group up.
I know that the DU postings are full of Roberts vs Rove topics today. The funny thing is they are now arguing amonst themselves as some think they should stay focused on the Rove issue and others want to concentrate on this. Fun reading when they get to arguing over it.
The left's not happy, but a guy who was first in his class at Harvard Law, with as few written opinions as he has will be tough to stop. A fillibuster won't stick, IMO.
They already did, for POTUS at least
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Gotta love the strategery!
Thanks for the link! The leftists are more strident and silly-sounding all the time, and they lose more ground daily (heehee!).
In other words, concede defeat in order to win later even though you won the election? Why not just nominate the kind of judge you think belongs on the bench?
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