SCOTUS: It's Roberts
It's Roberts. First reaction from Ed Kilgore:
"So, after all the serpentine maneuvers elsewhere involving the likely nomination of an Hispanic or a female Justice, Bush is going with the ultimate Wonder Bread nominee, John Roberts.
There will soon be massive analysis and speculation about Judge Roberts' views, and particularly his views on Roe v. Wade. But given the prominence that will immediately be paid to his 1991 Justice Department brief advocating the reversal of Roe, it's worth noting that this brief is no more certain an indication of Robert's behavior on the bench than Edith Clement's comments supporting Roe in her Court of Appeals confirmation hearings.
In the 1991 brief, Roberts was reflecting the Bush 41 position, forced on Bush 41 by the Cultural Right during his struggle for the presidential nomination in 1988, that Roe should be overturned. Maybe he personally agreed with it, maybe not; lawyers are trained to advocate for their clients no matter what they think.
But this, no doubt, will be the focus of Roberts' confirmation hearings.
Abortion aside, he is generally considered to be a well-qualified and non-extremist judge. But given his background, there are also legitimate questions to be raised about his independence from partisan and executive-branch pressure. Beyond his service to Bush 41 (where his boss was a guy named Kenneth Starr), Roberts was also a legal advisor to Bush 43's struggle to capture Florida's electoral votes in 2000.
There's certainly enough smoke to justify a serious Senate effort to make sure Roberts will not be a pyromaniac on the Supreme Court."