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Rumor-mongering?

posted by awelborn

Edith says she’s out. Okay. Who?

Mary Ann Glendon?

Hah. We wish.



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mio

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:01 pm


Well, at least her name is being mentioned …



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Zhou

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:04 pm


What are we talking about here?
Who is Edith?
Are you talking about Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, of the Pontifical Council for the Laity?
I’m lost.
-Zhou the Clueless



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ambrose

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:14 pm


Which Edith:-)?



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Julia

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:18 pm


Edith Jones or Edith Clement?
We couldn’t go wrong with Mary Ann Glendon, but she hasn’t a change in h—-.



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WRY

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:21 pm


Here comes the sellout. It will be someone pro-abortion. Count on it.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:32 pm


Not being clairvoyant I will not make a prediction. However, I do think it will be a bold choice. Even his enemies concede that this President does not lack for boldness. The fact that he is making the announcement in prime time is quiet interesting. It suggests to me an attempt to steal a march on the interest groups who will object to his choice. That may well indicate a strong conservative who will rouse the ire of groups such as NARAL, People for the American Way, etc. Stay tuned.



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Sydney Carton

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:32 pm


WRY,
I don’t think it’ll be a “sellout.” I think it’ll be a betrayal. A distinction without a difference.



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DJP

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:37 pm


If Bush sells out and nominates a pro-Roe judge, I, the most Republican of my family, will change my political affliation.



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Dave Mueller

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:45 pm


Wow, optimistic, aren’t we?
I think Bush will keep his promise and nominate a justice in the mold of Scalia and Thomas.



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Dave Mueller

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:47 pm


BTW, my guesses are Roberts, Edith Jones, or Priscilla Owen.



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Suzanne

posted July 19, 2005 at 5:50 pm


If Bush gives us a pro-life majority on the Court, I will eat all of my shoes. I think one can bet if this one is pro-life, the next will not be. Anyway, I think we’ve gotten the Gonzales set-up for this appointment already anyway. He knows his constituency will be more forgiving and so will the liberals if he appoints a pro-lifer next time when their worries of overturning R v. W are put to rest.



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Richard

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:14 pm


Apparently Kay Baily Hutchinson had her plane turned around after landing at Dallas/Fort Worth.
Thus speculation that the pick will be a Texan (Hutchinson would want tobe at the announcement), which may reinforce the speculation that Bush will want to pick a judge he’s familiar with.
Who’s Texan? Well, Edith Jones and Priscilla Owens, for starters.
But I really don’t know anymore than anyone else does. I just pray for a strong originalist that moves us a step closer to an overturn of Roe v. Wade. And a few other decisions I could name.



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Richard

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:16 pm


…And the buzz now (Bench Memos, NRO) is that it won’t be Michale Luttig or Jones.
That seems to point to John Roberts or Priscilla Owenms. Either would be solid.



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John

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:22 pm


Gonzalez is a Texan……………



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Jimmy Mac

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:25 pm


Edith Piaf, of course. She’d be great … she has no regrets.



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mcmlxix

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:45 pm


Doesn’t whether the nominee is a constitutional originalist (and hopefully a federalist) trump whether he or she is for or against abortion? The former would certainly render the later moot and place the judiciary back on the judicial rather than legislative track.



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hilary

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:50 pm


Now they are saying it’s Jones.



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hilary

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:52 pm


No, Roberts! Of Hogan & Hartson here in DC. Was Deputy Solicitor General under Bush 1, so would have argued before the court for the US.



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chris

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:54 pm


Fox News just announced that it’s Roberts, “according to reports.”



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Rocco Palmo

posted July 19, 2005 at 6:58 pm


Senior admin. official and AP confirm Roberts. And the anti-Roe opinions are already surfacing….



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James Englert

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:01 pm


About Roberts from the NYT:
Advocacy groups on the right say that Roberts, a 50-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., who attended Harvard Law School, is a bright judge with strong conservative credentials he burnished in the administrations of former Presidents Bush and Reagan. While he has been a federal judge for just a little more than two years, legal experts say that whatever experience he lacks on the bench is offset by his many years arguing cases before the Supreme Court.
Liberal groups, however, say Roberts has taken positions in cases involving free speech and religious liberty that endanger those rights. Abortion rights groups allege that Roberts is hostile to women’s reproductive freedom and cite a brief he co-wrote in 1990 that suggested the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion.
“The court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion … finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution,” the brief said.
In his defense, Roberts told senators during his 2003 confirmation hearing that he would be guided by legal precedent. “Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. … There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent.”



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SiliconValleySteve

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:07 pm


So does Roberts constitute a sell-out or betrayal? Or will those so quick to judgement here issue an apology?
Can’t wait to see won’t-make-any-difference-on- Roe Sen. John Kerry rip him to pieces for not being able to read the sacred right to abortion in the penumbra of the constitution.
And can’t wait for all his Catholic supporters to take issue with him.
I expect that I won’t be waiting long on the first proposition but probably quite awhile on the second.



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Dave Mueller

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:07 pm


James cut and pasted that from an AP article…can you believe the obvious pro-abortion bias in the words “In his defense”?!!?!?!



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Victor Morton

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:11 pm


What james posted is actually AP (the NYT, like many other papers including mine, just runs the wire feed automatically on its site)



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Victor Morton

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:14 pm


Dave and I had the same thought. And also about the line “in his defense” … the more I work in the media, the more convinced I am that worldviews are truly found in asides than in consciously thought-through ideas (but Freud has been assigned to the Outer Darkness by the inquisitors, so …. )



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hilary

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:15 pm


Roberts’ Roe v. Wade comment was made when he was Deputy Solicitor General, thus speaking for his President & the Executive Branch, not as a private attorney or judge. Question is, did he actually AGREE with Bush 1 on this matter, or was he just “doing his job”?



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chris K

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:36 pm


I mentioned Roberts way back in another discussion. I believe he also clerked for Rehnquist. One of the brightest minds and great conservative credentials. Hope there were enough prayers going to Our Lady of Guadalupe…I mean Her feast day deciding Bush’s election must mean something!!



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James Englert

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:36 pm


Yeah, I got a little hackled at the “in his defense” phrase, but — it may have been a sort of shorthand for the reporter to indicate that this was a hearing on his nomination to the Court of Appeals, and that he was being challenged about upholding Supreme Court precedent when sitting on an inferior court. You’d have to go back to the hearing and see what the question actually was. It may gone like this:
Senator: Mr. Roberts, I see that you have written a brief stating that you see no right to an abortion in the text, structure or history of the Constitution. Will you therefore rule contrary to Roe v Wade while sitting on the Court of Appeals?
Roberts: That was a brief to the Supreme Court advocating a change in law. If confirmed to the Court of Appeals, I am bound by Supreme Court precedent. ‘Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. … There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent.’
It’s fuzzy. But he will surely now be asked in the confirmation hearings what he will do when a Roe issue comes before him on the Supreme Court.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 19, 2005 at 7:59 pm


James,
And if he’s as smart as I know he is, he will decline to answer for reasons of judicial propriety.
This is a very shrewd selection. Pro-lifers should be pleased. I know many of us feel burned given the performances of Kennedy, O’Conner, and Souter, but verbal assurances as to how one would rule in future cases simply is not proper, and in any case not binding. Roberts is an intellectually honest jurist and is a superb nominee.



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TSO

posted July 19, 2005 at 8:07 pm


J-Lo o’er at the Corner says Roberts’ wife served as executive vice president for Feminists for Life.



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SiliconValleySteve

posted July 19, 2005 at 8:08 pm


Bush is a man of his word and this is the reward to the pro-lifers who have supported him.
Hey Syd and WRY, what you say now?
mea culpa?



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Donald R. McClarey

posted July 19, 2005 at 8:26 pm


As I predicted, a bold move. Judge Roberts is brilliant, a solid conservative legal scholar, and young. At 50 he may well still be handing down decisions in 2035. From his brief statement he comes across well on television. He has been around Washington for a long time, since the Reagan administration, and there is little chance that he will pull a Souter and “grow” on the Court in a leftist direction. A very good pick from a pro-life perspective.



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Mary Campbell Gallagher

posted July 19, 2005 at 8:47 pm


NARAL is upset about Judge Roberts, true, but I would not worry about liberals’ doing any damage in the Senate to Roberts just because he once wrote a brief that was hard on Roe v. Wade. Roberts is not alone. Many excellent liberal academics and judges have pointed out what a terrible piece of legal craftsmanship Roe is. Many have argued that abortion should have been left in the state legislatures. Among the severest critics of Roe is. . . Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
PS. My HLS classmate Chuck Schumer is now on the tube, saying that we don’t know enough about Judge Roberts’s “personal views.” Where is it written that we have to know about judges’ personal views? M.
Mary Campbell Gallagher
http://www.BigCitiesBigBoxes.com



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Sydney Carton

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:10 pm


We’ll see. Power tends to corrupt, and the Court is rotten to the core. If they can’t abolish it, they can try to appoint good people to it. Unfortunately, it seems as if half of this country wants the Court to impose its elitist will from the bench with a radical agenda – and given time, those people will be in power again to do exactly that. This is a good thing for the short term, but the corruption of the Court is systemic and deserves something more.
Anyway, congrats to Roberts.



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James Freeman

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:16 pm


Well, it would appear that W. refrained from selling out pro-lifers. Indeed, the Supreme Court is an important thing, perhaps our last civil line of defense when the doody of societal and civic rot hits the legal fan.
But . . . .
Has anybody considered that neither politics, nor the judiciary, can or will save us from what divine justice demands? All I hope for from the body politic is the slim possibility of buying us time, time that might allow the budding of revival and reform of hearts and souls . . . and thereby society.
When it gets to the point where the high court is having to decide a Dred Scott case or a Plessy v. Ferguson, a Brown v. Board of Education or a Roe v. Wade, the termites already have eaten half the house.
At absolute best, as in Brown, what the court decides might cause us to begin to confront our demons, which will be brutal and agonizing but holds the possibility of redemption. At absolute worse, as in Roe, the court’s decision just greases the tracks a bit for the already-Hellbound train.
Judicial activism is no utter curse, and judicial conservatism is no panacea. It all depends upon the context of what one is an activist for, or what one seeks to conserve.



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Dennis

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:23 pm


I’m not as convinced as some seem to be that this pick is good news for pro-lifers or strict constructionists.
One the one hand we have the 1990 brief, although he was then writing as an advocate for the position of the President, stating that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overturned.
On the other hand, we have his 2003 statement that Roe is “settled law”.
These views are utterly incompatible, and he needs to clarify his position. To describe Roe as “settled” is to preclude the possibility of overruling it, ever. Either Roberts was being untruthful in 2003 when he described that as his position, in which case he will say whetever he thinks a particular audience wants to hear and is not the principled man we have been led to believe, or he was being truthful in 2003 and really does believe Roe is “settled” and thus irresversible. Which is it? Whatever the answer, he comes out badly in the analysis.
To say that he was simply answering that way because he was bound by the Supreme Court as an prospective Appeals Court Judge in 2003, isn’t enough. He could have been more circumspect and vague in giving such an asnwer about precedent without explicitly stating that he believed Roe was “settled”. To describe Roe as such went far beyond what any answer would have required in 2003, and raises legitimate questions about his true judicial philosophy.
It’s not just a matter of his “personal” beliefs or opinions about abortion, or of improperly expressing a view on potential cases that might come before the court. One’s fundamental judicial philosophy is exposed and highlighted by the position one takes on such controversial cases. If he truly believes Roe is “settled law”, then he has shown himself to be, ipso facto, a man of unsound judicial and constitutional principles, and one undeserving of the support of strict constitutionalists and pro-lifers.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:34 pm


“On the other hand, we have his 2003 statement that Roe is “settled law”.”
For all courts except for the Supreme Court Roe is “settled law”. For the Supreme Court nothing is ever settled. Stare decisis plays little role in Constitutional jurisprudence at the Supreme Court, as the Court has proven term after term. While Roe is “settled law” for a federal district court judge, or a circuit court of appeals judge, it most certainly is not “settled law” for a Supreme Court justice and everyone knows this. Hence the coming fight.



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SiliconValleySteve

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:35 pm


Dennis,
Is is our misfortune that we can’t hold judge Roberts to the standards that you would like (and I would for that matter). If he answers as we would like, he will never get confirmed. As it is, he will have a very difficult time. All the Catholic democrats in the senate will be roasting him as it is for his “extreme” statements about Roe.
Seamless garment indeed.
As James and others have said, this is only a first step. Legal abortion remains popular (how popular we are soon to find out). We could easily face a backlash now that could even extend to attempts to amend the constitution and perhaps give us a solid democratic (pro-abortion) majority in 06. Bush is fulfilling his promise but it may be the death of his political career.
Hold on, it is going to get very ugly, especially for us in the bluest of blue regions.



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Septimus

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:36 pm


I totally agree with Dennis that the one word, “settled,” is very significant and troubling.
Don’t think for a minute its a “throwaway” line. The pro-aborts know better. Had he said the same thing, simply omitting the word “settled,” they would have hounded him on it — because it means just what Dennis says it means.
Yes, of course, he can do what he likes. But your defense of Roberts relies on saying he was insincere, or he truly believes Roe is “settled.” That he was insincere is no consolation.
Now, some people feel quite sure he will do the right thing. Unless you have some sort of crystal-ball, how can you know?
He’s too stealthy.
Question: when has a stealthy nominee ever been GOOD news for prolifers?



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SiliconValleySteve

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:41 pm


Question: when has a stealthy nominee ever been GOOD news for prolifers?
Clarence Thomas who feigned that he had never thought about Roe much.



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mark

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:42 pm


“J-Lo o’er at the Corner says Roberts’ wife served as executive vice president for Feminists for Life.”
This is a HUGE point. It tends to confirm that he will reject Roe, and will most certainly reject Anthony Kennedy’s laughable views that “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life” and that homosexual sodomy “involves liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.”
I would tend to doubt that, having a pro-life wife, he would not himself be pro-life. Moreover, and this is the important point, it allows him to overrule Roe without the fear of retribution back home. One of the reasons that Blackmun said that he invented the abortion right was that his wife and daughters at home were pro-abortion. If Roberts’ wife were not pro-life, there might be a hestitancy to not alienate her, but, happily, that is not going to be a problem.



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Septimus

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:46 pm


Silicon — if you think Thomas was “stealthy,” I have to question your memory of those times, or your information on it.
Yes, he did dance around Roe itself; but I’m pretty sure he never called it “settled law.”
Thomas was well-known for a conservative philosophy, and pilloried for it. Remember how Marshallites disowned him: “not one of us” was their message.
And don’t kid yourself: the Left says its about lots of issues, but with the possible exception, in 2005, of “gay marriage,” it’s all about Roe. And in 1990, when Thomas was put forward, it was 100% about Roe.
The Anita Hill allegation was trotted out as the coup de grace; but he was not “uncontroversial” absent that.



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mark

posted July 19, 2005 at 9:54 pm


“Has anybody considered that neither politics, nor the judiciary, can or will save us from what divine justice demands?”
Let no one doubt this — Yes, we are currently in a moral cesspool. But this country has also been dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. She will not fail us because her Son will not fail her. Of that you can be assured. We will ultimately prevail, the pro-life cause will ultimately win out, just as Russia was saved from Sovietism, as she said at Fatima. It may take awhile, but it will happen.
And for those of you who have revelled in abortion lo these many years, you too can take heart that we will prevail. And you should be thankful for it too. God, being the loving Father that He is, because the debt has already been paid, even the blood of 45 million slaughtered innocent babies on your hands will be forgiven. Redemption is possible, even for such an unspeakable crime as this.
Keep the faith James.



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ajb

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:02 pm


Three points:
1. Does Feminists for Life actually advocate overturning Roe? I poked around their website, and their mission statement reads:
“Feminists for Life recognizes that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women. We are dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions.”
Many people in favor of the right to legalized abortion could agree with that sentiment.
2. As I remarked in another thread, for a judge/attorney who uses words for a living, you can’t simply dismiss the comment about Roe being “settled” law. For an appellate judge, Roe is “binding”. Even though the Supreme Court can overturn its own precedents, characterizing a decision as “settled law” suggests that stare decisis should govern and allow the decision to stand.
3. Query whether Roberts was nominated b/c Bush needed to deflect attention from the treason over Valerie Plame and they needed to get a nominee out NOW and Judge Roberts was sufficiently vetted.



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Cornelius AMDG

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:09 pm


I haven’t been this happy since Pope Benedict was picked. And I can’t help but mention that Roberts was one of my top three predictions back on July 1.



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mark

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:09 pm


“it’s all about Roe. And in 1990, when Thomas was put forward, it was 100% about Roe.”
Yet another reason (and maybe ultimately our winning argument), for why Roe must go. Roe and its progeny has corrupted nearly every aspect of the judicial process. At its height of popularity, Roe captured the support of 55 percent of the public, at best, and that probably only because it was support for the status quo. Roe has never engendered a consensus of support, as has racial and sexual equality, and that is another reason it must go.
Roberts is smart enough to know that it is the Constitution that he owes allegience to, not Supreme Court precedent. Prior caselaw is not the Constitution, the Constitution is the Constitution. Stare decisis (“settled law”) is a value only when the rule of law has support in logic, is workable, and is accepted by the people. In Casey, the Court essentially admitted that Roe has no support in the Constitution itself. Casey upheld Roe only as a matter of stare decisis, and Roe has only lost public support in the 13 years since that decision.
Given the caustic consequence of Roe on the judicial process, the fact that it has no support in the text of the Constitution, or in the common law or 2,000 years of human history, and the fact that it has never been accepted by substantial portions of the public, Roberts will not feel bound by precedent. He will see the wisdom of jettisoning a rule that has caused more trouble than it is worth, and will see the wisdom of allowing the people a voice in their own government. He will see the wisdom of allowing women a say in whether abortion should be legal or not, rather than denying them any voice in the matter and leaving it to nine demi-gods to decide for us.
At least that is my prayer, that God gives him the wisdom to see that.



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Septimus

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:16 pm


mark said: “I would tend to doubt that, having a pro-life wife, he would not himself be pro-life.”
The President has a pro-abortion wife; (and it was the same with Bush Sr., and Reagan) what inference do you draw from that?



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Dennis

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:18 pm


Donald, I understand the distinction you’re trying to make, but I think the word “settled” means something far beyond merely that an Appeals Court nominee accepts it as “settled for him as an Appeals Court judge”. It means one sees this as a fundamental constitutional issue that has been decided – i.e. “settled” – once and for all and that no judge on any Court should consider overturning it. This is also what O’Connor and her cohorts had in mind in 1992 the Casey decision when they said everyone should accept that Roe is “settled” law and stop arguing about it, and that overruling it would undermine the Court’s authority (Our black-robed overlords have spoken, so shut-up and accept our authority!)
Has the Supreme Court been selective about stare decisis? Absolutely (Just look at Kennedy’s intellectually incoherent reversal of himself in the recent case about executing people who committed their crimes while technically minors, even though they had been tried as adults). But that doesn’t mean that “settled” has a fundamentally different meaning for an Appeals Court judge than it does for a Supreme Court judge.
Roberts could have answered the question about Roe being “settled” in 2003 with something like this: “Though I would be bound as an Appeals Court Judge to enforce the law as it currently stands based on Supreme Court rulings, I do not regard Roe itself as being ‘settled’, if by that term one means that it is forever irreversible. Though the limitations of my position as an Appeals Court judge would bind me to the holding of Roe (and similar cases on the matter of abortion’s legality) insofar as the issues those cases address may arise in any cases that come before me, I believe Roe was wrongly decided on a number of grounds, about which I would be happy to go into more detail, and that it is – as the great political turmoil the decision has caused in our nation attests – far from being a ‘settled’ matter”
He did not say this, or anything like it. He simply said it Roe was “settled”. He needs to clarify what he meant by this. Did he just mean, as Mr. McClarey proposes above, that it was “settled” solely as it pertained to himself in his role as a prosepctive appellate judge, or did he mean what I took it to mean (and what I think most people mean when they call Roe “settled”), which is that it is irreversible and an issue about which we should all just shut-up? “Settled” seems to be the code word people have “settled” on, as it were, to indicate that they support Roe without coming right out and saying “I believe Roe was properly decided and should never be overturned.” It’s a weasel word.



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mark

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:21 pm


“Does Feminists for Life actually advocate overturning Roe?”
Yes, they have filed amicus (friend of the court) briefs with the Supreme Court in various cases expressly asking that Roe be overturned.
For example — http://www.fnsa.org/v1n2/webster1.html



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mark

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:24 pm


“The President has a pro-abortion wife; (and it was the same with Bush Sr., and Reagan) what inference do you draw from that?”
The inference I draw, Septimus, is that you are too much the pessimist and apparently feel compelled to complain when you should be hopeful.



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Boniface McInnes

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:25 pm


Of course its a weasel word.
Only 9 slots on the entire federal government can change RvW.
Expressing hostility to RvW makes confirmation more difficult, sadly.
Do we expect appelate court justices to do something other than weasel, when they can’t effect an outcome one way or the other?
Now weaseling in this confirmation, thats going to be a whole ‘nother ball of earwax.



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ajb

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:44 pm


Boniface, in a way, isn’t the nomination of Roberts itself abit of weaseling?
I have no way of knowing for sure which way Judge Roberts would vote on whatever specific abortion issue comes before him, and from the comments tonight it doesn’t look like anyone else does either. Some hope, “because his wife’s pro-life”. Some hope, “because he goes to Church”. But no one knows for sure.
My point is that there were potential nominees out there that pretty much everyone WOULD know for sure about.
Has all the allegiance given to the Republican Party, giving them a President in the White House to nominate a Justice and a majority in the Senate to confirm them, warranted such a question-mark?
I guess everyone has to answer that for themselves. Personally, it seems to me a sign of weakness from the Administration that they chose to appoint a Judge who will most likely get some, but not overwhelming, opposition instead of nominating someone whose position on Roe was clearer.



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scotch meg

posted July 19, 2005 at 10:58 pm


Dennis,
Usually I keep my law degree in the closet because I don’t use it… but this is a no-brainer for anyone with a legal education. “Settled law” means “precedent I have to follow as an appeals court judge” NOT “law I would like to be settled”. When O’Connor says it in a Supreme Court brief it has a different connotation, to be sure — but when a nominee for an appellate court slot says it, it means no more and no less than “I am not going to go on the bench and write meaningless dissent after meaningless dissent from the Supreme Court’s judgments.” If you want appellate court nominees who are prolife, don’t expect them to commit hari-kiri at committee hearings! Which is what it would be to say — and mean — anything else about Roe at that point in time. To my way of thinking, the whole statement is actually a GOOD indicator about Roberts; it means he looks at the law from an essentially conservative perspective of reviewing applicable precedents and written (legislative or constitutional) law. This perspective bodes very ill for the monstrosity of legal unreasoning that is Roe v. Wade. Take heart! Have courage! Pray!



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Septimus

posted July 19, 2005 at 11:15 pm


mark: Gee, why should I be pessimistic about GOP nominees to the Supreme Court?
In 1973, five GOP-appointed justices and two Democrat-named justices imposed abortion-on-demand in Roe v. Wade…
In 1992, after two presidents won three elections promising nominees who would be very much otherwise …
(like the current president, they never said, explicitly, they’d appoint only prolife justices, and prolifers said it was okay, and understandable that they didn’t–but nonetheless inferred insistently that’s what their commitments meant)
… we had five nominees, three of whom ended up pro-abortion. One of whom, Souter, was the subject of similar “private assurances” now emanating regarding Roberts…
In 1992, FIVE Republican appointees joined NO Democrats in upholding Roe.
Now we have a nominee whose only indicators of being a good guy are he wrote someone else’s brief, and his wife was active in a prolife group; but his own, stated view is that Roe is settled — exactly what pro-aborts say about Roe…
Gee, why should I be dubious about Republican promises about Supreme Court nominees?



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Septimus

posted July 19, 2005 at 11:18 pm


mark – you assert that Robert’s wife being prolife points to him being prolife, but he says nice things about Roe because he has to.
So President Bush’s wife being pro-abortion means he’s really proabortion, and he says and occasionally does prolife things because he has to. Is that it?



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WRY

posted July 19, 2005 at 11:19 pm


Hey, no one would be happier than me to see me proven dead wrong!
But I’ll wait until RvW is overturned to dance in the street. And who knows whether the eventual Rhenquist appointment will be a pro-lifer, either. Basically, my theory is that Bush wants Social Security reform too badly to risk political capital on the unborn.
I hope I am so wrong wrong wrong. I’ll gladly take being wrong on this one.



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Dennis

posted July 19, 2005 at 11:20 pm


Scotch – What “settled” means in the context in which Roberts used it at the 2003 hearings is far from being a “no-brainer for anyone with a legal education.” I’m not the only lawyer I know who feels this way about judicial nominees using words like “settled” when referring to Roe in their confirmation hearings.
Other than that, I’ll just refer you to the comments previously posted by myself and ajb on the maeaning of “settled” versus “binding”, and suggest you read more closely. Perhaps you opened that closet too soon.



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Septimus

posted July 19, 2005 at 11:34 pm


I know people want to celebrate; and for all I know, predictions that Roberts will, without any specific evidence, end up doing the right thing (because he’s so nice, because he’s smart, because he goes to church, because of his wife), prove to be right…
But other than being quite gratifying, what is the value of giving assurances about how good Roberts WILL be? What is the cash value of such utterly invalid certitude? The answer is NIL.
But what is the value of my carping, my suspicion, my refusal to take any of this on face value, you may ask?
Prolifers won’t get the nominee they want and need by being good lapdogs.
Gonzales MAY never have been in the picture, but don’t you believe it; his name was floated, to see how bad the reaction was. Who doubts that prolifers growling at Gonzales, instead of being good puppies, made it less likely that Bush would name him?
Politics is messy business, but the simple, crude fact is that the more stink we make for our “friend” in the White House, till he actually does the right thing and you know it, the more seriously he takes his obligation to KEEP us happy.
When we go into paroxyms of joy when thrown a few nice words and consumer baubles, the one with power can say, okay, that came cheap! Now let’s go buy some quiet from someone else…
The goal of my insisting prolifers not start celebrating is to get them to insist that Roberts not play coy. The GOP has the votes this time; this isn’t 1987 or 1990.
Mark, of course I may be wrong; if I am, Roe is a step closer to being overturned, and you and I are both happy.
But if you are wrong, and your celebration IS premature, how does taking the pressure off, now, help the cause?



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mark

posted July 19, 2005 at 11:43 pm


“Mark, of course I may be wrong; if I am, Roe is a step closer to being overturned, and you and I are both happy.
But if you are wrong, and your celebration IS premature, how does taking the pressure off, now, help the cause?”
I wouldn’t say that I am celebrating, as I stupidly did with Souter, but I am prayerfully hopeful. And I believe that W is a true believer, one that means what he says and says what he means, and one that is, in the depths of his soul, committed to a “culture of life.” Unlike dad, who really didn’t care one way or the other, W is a zealous and born-again convert, and he would like to see an end to Roe as much as any of us.
No, I am not celebrating — I will not be celebrating until Roe lies dead and rotting in the ground once and for all.



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Sydney Carton

posted July 20, 2005 at 12:13 am


If I were a nominee for the Supreme Court, to get onto the bench and explicitly overturn Roe, I’d say in my confirmation that Roe was “settled law.” Because it means exactly what it means: the Roe case was decided in favor of Roe. That’s what settled law is. It has no predictive value whatsoever.
And quite frankly, as cynical as I am about the Court, I’m not going to demand that pro-life nominees go up before the people and start saying how they’re going to overturn every precedent they don’t like, whether it’s Roe or something else. That’s a great way to have your nomination die in committee, or get rejected outright, and it is an incredibly dumb thing to do.
Saying something is “settled law” is not the same as saying you wouldn’t overturn that law. “Settled” provides no more immunity to that decision than anything else, and they know it, which is why they cloak it with such reverence and majesty. But it’s a word, and it means nothing.



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James Freeman

posted July 20, 2005 at 12:47 am


Mark writes:
Let no one doubt this — Yes, we are currently in a moral cesspool. But this country has also been dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. She will not fail us because her Son will not fail her. Of that you can be assured. We will ultimately prevail, the pro-life cause will ultimately win out, just as Russia was saved from Sovietism, as she said at Fatima. It may take awhile, but it will happen.
First off, America has no greater covenant with the Almighty than do the Jews, and look what they have suffered over the last 5,000 years.
Second, the abolitionists eventually triumphed in the struggle against the scourge of slavery, too. But not until the nation had endured the Civil War and more than 500,000 Americans, Northern and Southern, had perished on the battlefield. That in an age when “weapons of mass destruction” meant artillery and repeating rifles.
None less than Abraham Lincoln believed that the war was divine judgment against the United States. We ought not think that the Blessed Mother will spare us from what we have merited any more now than she did then.



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Dennis

posted July 20, 2005 at 12:58 am


When one calls Roe “settled law” that doesn’t just mean that the immediate case has been decided in favor of Jane Roe, it means that the fundamental constitutional issues in the case are “settled” and deemed to be no longer open to debate. To say that something is “settled law” is precicely to say that one wouldn’t advocate overturning it – otherwise the area of law in question wouldn’t be “settled”. Again, the distinction between “settled” and “binding on lower courts” is important here.
If one states that Roe and the subsequent cases that have upheld and expanded it are “settled” then one is stating that one agrees with those cases that there is a fundamental “right” to abortion in the Constitution, etc. (the whole panoply of nonsense emanating from Roe, et. al), and that this fundamental matter is no longer open to debate or question. There is simply no way around that interpretation. To call Roe “settled” is to endorse in all fundamental respects the present regime of abortion-on-demand.



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Victor Morton

posted July 20, 2005 at 1:18 am


Dennis:
All law is, by definition, settled.
Until it’s unsettled. At which point, it ceases to be law.



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mark

posted July 20, 2005 at 1:24 am


I wonder if it would be at all helpful, at this point in time, for the bishops to reassert the more recent statements regarding the obligations of Catholic politicians with respect to abortion and, specifically, to warn Catholic senators to not engage in scandalous demagoguery by suggesting that abortion is a fundamental right or that it is in anyway pro-woman? Is this a good time to bring up the communion and pro-abortion politician issue?
Perhaps we should be encouraging our own bishops to speak up at this time?



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Mike Petrik

posted July 20, 2005 at 6:19 am


I know the members of the Bush vetting tean assigned to Roberts. In fact, I was with them last night. I am comfortable that Bush made a brilliant choice, and those of us who oppose Roe should be heartened and confident.
Naysayers who demand that Bush should select a less “stealthy” nominee are being unrealistic. It would be inappropriate for a judicial nominee to announce how he would vote on cases likely to come before him. And even if he did, his musings would be non-binding in any case. The Administration did precisely the correct thing. It selected a an extraordinarily well-credentialed nominee whose judicial philosophy is sound, and based on that philosophy we have every reason to believe that Roe’s days are numbered. I know the vetting team members are happy. I also happen to know that they are pro-life. Very pro-life.



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Septimus

posted July 20, 2005 at 8:43 am


I want to return to the question of the rumors yesterday. Where did the Clement story come from?
It’s clear that it had a “very good” source–it didn’t come from any GOP Tom, Dick or Harry. It came from someone “high placed” and presumed to know.
Now, it may be the White House would use Clement to take folks of the trail of Roberts; but why? Why build expectation for a woman, then dash that expectation? Why build expectation for a more “moderate” nominee, then offer someone who will be taken as more conservative?
My theory is that it wasn’t the White House that leaked Clement’s name at all. It was someone who would want the most liberal possible nominee — but someone with credibility to get the story wide currency — and who would have nothing to lose…
In other words, a high-placed LIBERAL, pro-abortion Republican . . .
Well, feel free to SPECulate To yER hearts’ content on that one . . .



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WRY

posted July 20, 2005 at 8:51 am


Now is the time for the bishops to be silent.
Why give the opposition a red flag?



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chris K

posted July 20, 2005 at 9:13 am


To my little mind, the larger question that looms is that one of the canopy of “right to privacy” and just how it has conveniently emerged and evolved right out of the constitution! It arose in these time for the convenience of mainly all things sexual…and that, mostly, for the protection of perversions without any thought about the effects on our country’s civilization. In some sense that would extend to the promiscuous outlook and excuse for, which has provided so much misery and has denied this country close to 50,000,000 lives. This so-called right to privacy in these areas has been extended in actuality now to include infanticide. There have to be some cases brought for settlement re: those, now left to die, when they did not fulfill the intention to die by abortion. The question of, at what point does one become considered a citizen…even in the womb, worthy of coverage himself/herself by this very canopy of “privacy”, needs to be courageously answered. This all takes courage…whether or not one has been blessed with perhaps the greatest legal mind going today.
And will there be more cases brought forth which appeal on the bases of further scientific knowledge about the unborn – constitutionally grounded – for a renewed look at this “settled law”? Hopefully, without O’Connor, and with Roberts, these cases could be accepted.



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Larry

posted July 20, 2005 at 9:24 am


Plessy v. Ferguson was settled law until 1954.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 20, 2005 at 10:01 am


Exactly right, Larry.



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Ed the Roman

posted July 20, 2005 at 10:55 am


Dred Scott was settled law until 1865.



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chris K

posted July 20, 2005 at 11:22 am


I happened to see the current president of Planned Parenthood commenting last night. She stated that they really did not have a position on Judge Roberts. To me that was a strategy to disturb some confident conservative pro-lifers…if PP is showing no reaction, maybe we ought to slow down and watch things. She said that they were the most trusted pro choice group by women and wished to continue to demonstrate their objectivity..(paraphrasing). My thoughts were that they know, in this case, they’ve lost…so why look stupid when there’s no way out.



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Katherine

posted July 20, 2005 at 11:56 am


Without a right to privacy, it’s not clear to me that China’s sterilization and abortion policy would be illegal in the United States.
The precursor to the right to privacy cases that everyone forgets is Skinner v. Oklahoma, which outlawed sterilization as a criminal punishment and overturned a 1930s decision upholding sterilization of the “feebleminded.” Skinner was decided on equal protection grounds, but it could not have been decided as it was unless the court found that:

We are dealing here with legislation which involves one of the basic civil rights of man. Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race. The power to sterilize, if exercised, may have subtle, farreaching and devastating effects. In evil or reckless hands it can cause races or types which are inimical to the dominant group to wither and disappear. There is no redemption for the individual whom the law touches. Any experiment which the State conducts is to his irreparable injury. He is forever deprived of a basic liberty.

The right to privacy is not only Roe, and in no way requires Roe to be decided as it is. Many countries that explicitly provide for a right to privacy in the Constitution allow more restriction of abortion than the United States.



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Katherine

posted July 20, 2005 at 11:57 am


sorry, it’s not clear to me that China’s sterilization and abortion policy would be UNCONSTITUTIONAL in the United States. Naturally it would be illegal.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 20, 2005 at 12:09 pm


chris K,
Another explanation is that PP wants to appear measured and open-minded. This way, when they inevitably turn on Roberts they appear to have more credibility. It will be interesting to see what the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says. I serve on the board of that very influential body, sometimes as the loyal oppostion.



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john c

posted July 20, 2005 at 12:24 pm


And Donoghue v. Stevenson is STILL settled law! Time to overturn that one!!



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