Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Roberts, a true "compassionate conservative"

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Although I am keenly aware that this may really upset (that may be an understatement) some of my liberal friends, I'm going to say it anyway: Judge John G. Roberts Jr. should be quickly and fairly confirmed to become the next Justice on the United States Supreme Court. He is fair and he is a good judge. He applies the law to his decisions and makes those decisions based only upon the law. At the same time, however, he is not afraid to stand up for the ideals upon which America was founded. In a column in The Washington Post, one of the bastions of the "liberal media" (or so say some conservatives), columnist Richard Cohen states:
President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, on the basis of the available evidence and all we know about human behavior, is not -- and I emphasize not ! -- a bigot. Specifically, he seems to harbor no prejudice against gay men and lesbians, who are, as we all know, anathema to social conservatives, who are anti-gay and pro-Bush, in about equal measures. Roberts, amazingly and inexplicably, seems to be a man of tolerance.
I couldn't agree more. Roberts worked on a pro-bono case in Colorado for gay rights activists. His work helped to overturn one of Colorado's most anti-LGBT piece of legislation (see Washington Blade article). In the column, Cohen also states:
The spectacle of conservative groups and the White House rushing to assure their constituencies that Roberts is not -- really and truly -- a tolerant man is both repulsive and absurd. In the end, this tethering of conservatism to the lost cause of homophobia will earn the rebuke of history. In the meantime, though, it puts Roberts on the spot. He might assert that he has been cruelly mischaracterized and, for benefit of career, renounce the work he had once done. But more likely his pro bono work speaks for itself. Until he says otherwise, on gay rights, he's out of the closet.
AMEN! The liberals need to stop complaining and the Democrats need to stop working against Roberts. The Republicans need to tone down the rhetoric and Focus on the Family needs to just butt out. Confirm Judge Roberts... he is a true "compassionate conservative."


Personally, I think it's too soon to say that he should be confirmed, and I think saying that he should be both "fairly" and "quickly" confirmed is kind of working against two different principles. Quickly is not necessarily fairly, and fairly is not necessarily quickly. I think we desperately need the Senate confirmation hearings to be fair and thorough, and therefore probably not quick, in order to make absolutely sure that he is indeed a "compassionate conservative."

I also think that most liberals are being incredibly shortsighted. They're focusing on Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas, when the real news about this guy is his narrow view of the Commerce Clause, which could turn our government upside down. If I do oppose him, it will likely be because of his view of the Commerce Clause, which could affect all Americans -- both liberal and conservative. I am less concerned about specific issues like reproductive choice and gay rights and more concerned about his overall judicial philosophy, especially as it pertains to interpretation of the Commerce Clause. His interpretation of the Commerce Clause will affect all of the rest of his judicial philosophy, and we need to know exactly how he sees the Commerce Clause before we can decide one way or another if he's going to be a good justice.

In my opinion, anyway.
posted by Blogger Nate at 8/09/2005 08:45:00 PM  
Alhtough quickly is not always fairly and vice versa... his confirmation coul dbe doen quickly and fairly.

I think we have definitely found an issue on which we somewhat disagree, Nathan.... but, ah, that is what life is for!