Friday, July 22, 2005

Who'd've Thought JR?

It's been almost a month since my last post, so the recent nomination of John Roberts for the Supreme Court seems like a good reason to write something. To start with, I'd like to point out the following: John, Jane, Josie, Jack. Judge Roberts loses points right away for that whole alliterative theme.

That aside, it's hard to know what kind of a Supreme Court justice he'll make. By all accounts, he's very knowledgeable, very reasonable, and very nice. He's argued conservative positions, but he's also argued liberal positions. He's a lawyer, and apparently a good one, so the fact that he's argued one way or another says very little about his personal views.

A lot of people have commented on the fact that he's a white male. Perhaps it's because I'm not a minority individual (though seriously, isn't it about time that we had an atheist justice on the Supreme Court?), but I don't really see his race or gender as an issue. I'd much rather think that the President selected a candidate based on competence and (yes) compatible ideology than to fit a particular racial, ethnic, or gender profile. President Bush has already made enough token appointments—Condoleeza Rice might be brilliant, but she doesn't appear to be good at the positions she's held in the administration—I think we can cut him a break on this one. Better a somewhat moderate white male than an ultra-conservative woman.

Again, we don't know what kind of Supreme Court justice he'll be, and that's part of the problem. He might be great, but we have no way to assess that. He's been a judge for about two years, which isn't a lot of time to rate his performance and approach to the law. He's been nominated for the highest court in the nation; the only promotion he can contemplate is to Chief Justice.

This is actually a longer post that I'd expected to write, so I'll close with the following brief comment: If Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame's identity to the press, he should be nailed to the wall. I find it disappointing that intentionally exposing an undercover intelligence agent isn't considered treason.

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