The Sup. Ct. Confirmation War

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There is a war being fought today in the Russel Raucus Caucus Room, between Republicans and Democrats which has little to do with the person of Judge Roberts. The war is being fought over whether the Senate, as the people's representatives, have a right to know what the judicial philosophy and constitutional ideology of a nominee is before the Senate (and therefore, the people) decide whether the President's political choice for nominee should ascend to the Supreme Court.

Democrat Senators on the Senate Judicial Committee, almost without exception, assert in their opening statements that Judge Roberts must unveil for them his judicial philosophy and constitutional ideology if he desires to receive their affirmative vote. Many said, without such disclosure they cannot vote for his confirmation. On the other side, again almost without exception, Republican Senators implied or directly implored Judge Roberts to not reveal anything about his beliefs or judicial temperament which would in anyway reveal a predisposition on a case that may come before him as Supreme Court Justice.

To liberals watching the hearings, given the President's refusal to release writings of John Roberts in former roles in government pertaining to specific cases, it appears the conservatives are attempting to hide from view the kind of judge and judgments that may come forth from Judge Roberts if confirmed. To conservatives, it must appear that liberals are attempting to corner Judge Roberts into revealing just how far to the extreme right his judgments will swing the rulings emanating from the Supreme Court in the decades to come. The issue at hand is whether a nominee can reveal judicial philosophy and constitutional ideology without compromising their impartiality in ruling on Supreme Court cases. This is an issue that appears to be at impasse between Democrats and Republicans, as both sides have valid concerns.

There is an underlying assumption that a Justice on the Supreme Court should be impartial politically in reviewing the constitutionality of cases presented before the court. Another assumption is that extremists should be screened and filtered from ever becoming Supreme Court justices; otherwise, the advice and consent of the Senate has no reason for being written into the Constitution. Democrats want to insure their vote does not send a conservative extremist to the highest bench in the land. Republicans want to insure that their President's nominee and their party's choice for nominee is confirmed without compromising his appearance of impartiality in future rulings, since political activism is opposed by most conservatives.

Judge Roberts concluded today's hearings with a short succinct statement which I will append below when the trascript is available. He said he comes to the nomination process without an agenda and with a commitment to uphold the rule of law including precedent law. He said he will be open minded and mindful of the arguments of fellow justices and the cases presented. If Judge Roberts can remain true to his words today, it appears to this writer that Judge Roberts should be confirmed.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 12, 2005 2:49 PM.

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