The reaction of liberal lobbies has been relatively muted so far, but that doesn't mean they have been defanged. A line in a 1990s brief (written when Roberts was deputy solicitor general) argued that the reasoning of Roe v. Wade was flawed and that the ruling should be overturned. Roberts's client was the Bush I administration, and it will undoubtedly be said repeatedly that he was merely representing his client.

The National Right to Life Committee put out a statement that basically said what is at stake without taking a position on Roberts. "The Supreme Court is clearly divided 5-4 on partial-birth abortion," the National Right to Life Committee's Douglas Johnson is quoted saying. "The successor to Justice O'Connor will cast the deciding vote on whether the brutal partial-birth abortion method remains legal."

Stealth Justice

President Bush is apparently going to make this summer in Washington even hotter than it's been in the last few days: He is going to nominate somebody to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court this very night.

By the time you are reading this, you may already know if rumors that Bush is appointing Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans are true.

I hope the rumors have proven false (though I have a feeling they are on the mark). Not because I don't like Judge Clement. I know nothing about her, and even some people well-informed about judicial matters know little about her.

And that's one of the problems: It indicates that the White House went out looking for somebody relatively unknown. Instead of relying on courage and the Republican majority to get the best justice possible, Bush will have imitated his father and chosen another stealth candidate. If he thinks that this is going to make getting her confirmed easier, he's probably wrong.

As far as Judge Clement's record goes, I'm going to have to wait until I know more. There do seem to be preliminary signs that she is not acceptable to pro-lifers, many of whom supported Bush solely in hopes of changing the Court. Fox News reports: "The thought of Clement on the bench also has eased fears among abortion-rights advocates. She has stated that the Supreme Court, 'has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion' and that 'the law is settled in that regard.'"

This may simply mean that she wouldn't reverse Roe v. Wade, an unlikely event in any case. However, it's not a good omen that Bush may have chosen somebody to allay the fears of the pro-abortion side. It was pro-lifers who helped him hang onto his job. We believed him when he said that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were his models. I hope I don't end up saying: Et tu, George?

Pro-life group Operation Rescue has already issued a press release announcing "Judge Clement Gravely Concerns Us."

On a much more hopeful note, Edith Clement was on Bill Kristol's list of suitable female judges Bush might wisely elevate to the Supreme Court. Kristol follows this stuff more closely that most of us. Let's hope that the nominee will be great.

Can Christians Be Wild about Harry?

Loose Canon has already noted Pope Benedict XVI has not "condemned" the Harry Potter books (scroll down). Catholic writer Michael O'Brien, however, thinks that the books are dangerous to the building of a Christian outlook in children.

O'Brien believes that the Potter books contribute to the "paganization" of children's literature.

Obviously John Granger, who is teaching a course on Harry at Barnes and Noble University, has every reason to want to play down the criticism from Catholics. He and O'Brien tangled on CNN.

But until I have read the books, I am going to let my (tentative) final word be a letter to Granger from Regina Doman, who writes books for a teenaged and young adult readership. A Catholic, Doman (whom I quoted in my previous Harry post) likes the Harry Potter books, with some caveats.