Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Q: Who made the following statements during their Judicial nomination? Scalia, O'Conner, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, or Roberts?

"My view is that there is a right to privacy in the Fourteenth Amendment."

"I think that the Supreme Court has made clear that the issue of marital privacy is protected, that the state cannot infringe on that without a compelling interest, and the Supreme Court, of course, in the case of Roe v. Wade has found an interest in the woman's right -- as a fundamental interest, the woman's right to terminate a pregnancy."

"I think that it's clear that our country has grown and expanded in very important ways, that the commerce -- through the Commerce Clause, for example, there's been growth in the national scope of our government. Through the 14th Amendment, there have been application of our Bill of Rights or portions to the states' governments. Through the growth in communications and travel, of course, we're more nationalized than we were in the past. I think what the court has attempted to do is to preserve it as best a way -- in a way, as best it possibly could, the autonomy of the state governments, but at the same time recognize the growth and expansion and the natural growth and expansion of our national government."

"I think, Senator, that the role of a judge is a limited one. It is to interpret the intent of Congress on the legislation of Congress, to apply that in specific cases, and to interpret the Constitution where called upon, but at no point to impose his or her will or his or her opinion in that process, but rather to go to the traditional tools of constitutional interpretation or adjudication, as well as to statutory construction, but not, again, to impose his or her own point of view, or his or her predilections or preconceptions."

"My job is to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not personal philosophy or political theories."

"I don't think the role of the Court is to have an agenda, to say for example, that you believe the Court should change the face of the Earth. That's not the Court's role, and there are some individuals who think, for example, as the Chairman mentioned earlier, that the whole landscape with respect to economic rights should be changed, and I criticize that."

"I think that the post-Lochner era cases were correct. I think that the Court determined correctly that it was the role of Congress, it was the role of the legislature to make those very, very difficult decisions and complex decisions about health and safety and work standards, work hours, wage and hour decisions, and that the Court did not serve the role as the super-legislature to second guess the legislature. I think that those post-Lochner era cases were correctly decided, and I see no reason why those cases and that line of cases should have been or should be revisited."

A: All of them are by Thomas, who has at every decision voted to limit a liberty or privacy right and who has at every decision attempted to limit the federal government's power under the Commerce Clause.

Judge Roberts has given these same answers during his hearings:
Liberty is not limited to freedom from physical restraint. It does cover areas, as you said, such as privacy. And it's not protected only in procedural terms but it is protected substantively as well. Again, I think every member of the court subscribes to that proposition.

The LA Times thinks that makes him "well within the mainstream" in part because "Roberts acknowledged that he believes there is a right to privacy." As Roberts testified, "every member of the court subscribes to that proposition. And Thomas is not in the mainstream. I do not know how Roberts will act as a justice because he has not answered any significant questions during his confirmation hearings, but his early work for the Reagan administration inspires no confidence.

Senators should demand more candid answer from a nominee and not vote to confirm Roberts. Otherwise, they will only encourage more pointless hearings in the future. Roberts explanation that he could not answer questions because issues might come before the Court in the future is complete bullshit. That rule only applies to specific cases, not general one's general philosophy, nor an evaluation of past cases. Roberts chose not to answer questions because he feared being exposed as another Thomas (or feared hostility from the christain fundamentalists that he is not another Thomas).

No comments: