Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Podhoretz on Roberts: A Choice So Boring It's Interesting

In the New York Post, John Podhoretz takes a look at Supreme Court nominee John Roberts through the prism of what he isn't:

John Roberts is (obviously) not a woman, not an African-American, not an African-American woman, not a Latino, not a Latina.

Roberts is a white guy, 50 years old, and you might say he's spent his life trying to get exactly where he is now. He's a conservative Republican version of a Stephen Breyer - the guy with the golden resume, who seems to have decided he wanted a seat on the high court when he was seven years old and methodically sought to make his way there...

...So he's boring, right? It was a boring choice, right? Not exactly. President Bush did not seek to box in his liberal opponents by using an affirmative-action appointment difficult to argue against. He went for a relatively young jurist whose contemporaries among conservative judicial thinkers consider him rock-solid, intellectually serious and cut from the same cloth as his one-time mentor, William Rehnquist.

Still, even Chuck Schumer - who did vote against Roberts' ascension to the federal bench a few years ago - said Roberts possessed "outstanding legal credentials" and an "appropriate legal demeanor."

When Teddy Kennedy began the successful war against Robert Bork, he swung for the fences instantly by declaring that Bork wanted to return America to an age of back-alley abortions. If all Schumer can come up with is "I can't deny he's got a lot going for him," Roberts will be wearing that black robe by the first Monday in October. Declaring that someone possesses "outstanding legal credentials" isn't a good foundation for a bloody, furious, crazed battle.

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