Friday, August 26, 2005

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Apparently, western N.C. was hit by an earthquake last night. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the magnitude 3.8 tremor, and the only thing damaged was one mobile home. I didn't even feel it here, 300 miles away.

Not sure what to blog about. I feel like saying that all this flap over memos John Roberts wrote in the '80s is somewhat misplaced. Sure, he should be asked questions about his controversial statements about pay parity and other civil rights issues at the upcoming Judiciary Committee hearing, and Senators would be amiss if they didn't bring it up. But good judges don't base their decisions on their personal feelings about the issue at hand - they base rulings on law. Someone could believe that all cats should be drowned in turpentine and dropped on Saskatchewan and still be a good judge as long as their rulings are based on a reasonable interpretation of the law. (Presumably, drowning cats in turpentine and dropping them on Saskatchewan is illegal, and laws against it are constitutional, so he would be bound to uphold such laws.)

Furthermore, I don't assume that Roberts feels the same way now as he did twenty years ago. I don't hold Aimee Mann responsible for her atrocious '80s hairdo, and I won't hold Roberts responsible for his opinions from twenty years ago unless he demonstrates that he still holds them.

Also, California is back in black. That sound you hear is former governor Gray Davis cackling maniacally.


Mike said...

I agree. I think liberals are really overplaying their hand on Roberts. He appears to be level-headed enough that he will rule based on law and precedent. Besides, Bush has been railing away against activist judges and legislation from the bench, so appointing someone who would do just that, but from the conservative end, would be the basest hypocrisy. (Holds tongue.)

Bottom line: it could have been a lot worse than Roberts, even with the issues the left is most worried about. Let's save the battles. And yes, please, try to focus on how Roberts interprets the Constitution, rather than his particular beliefs on cats being drowned in turpentine.

Also, Aimee Mann's hairdo was awesome. I don't know what you're talking about.

Ben said...

Here's the deal with Roberts. We know what a lot of his personal beliefs were then. And they were atrocious. Stripping courts of the right to rule on issues that anger conservatives. He referred to the right to privacy as the "so-called right to privacy." He argued for restrictive interpretations of Title IX. And on and on.

And we know that plenty of people who give lip service to the rule of law and not legislating from the bench do exactly that - Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas being prime examples.

There's plenty of evidence that, if John Roberts legislates his views from the bench, our freedoms are in serious danger. Somehow, I'm not holidng out hope that he's a judicial moderate.

Mike said...

Wait, we wanted freedom? From the Supreme Court? Someone should have told us that before we re-elected George W. Bush with 52% of the vote and gave his party both houses of Congress, knowing for sure that he would be nominating at least one and possibly as many as 3 Supreme Court justices.

Here's the thing with bench legislation: we're all against it when it conflicts with our viewpoints. Hence the reason Dubya's wailing away against activist judges. The judges he's talking about are the ones making so-called liberal (progressive? respectful of human rights?) decisions, such as those in Massachusetts. If he could get judges to restrict gay rights, abortion rights, et cetera, I'm sure he'd suddenly be like, "Hell yeah, you go, you crazy activist judges!" (And they said Kerry was a flip-flopper.)

Whether we like it or not, our dear president is very far to the right on a large number of issues. Roberts was about as moderate as we were gonna get.