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View Diary: SCOTUS: Actually, We've Already Won (350 comments)

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  •  Here's the thing, though. (4.00)
    Suppose he had never nominated Brown or Owen.  Roberts is still well within what I'd call the realm of Reasonable Conservative Nominees -- people whose credentials and/or writings make them folks that, hey, we'd never nominate, but if they're going to nominate someone, grrr, are better than others.

    There is no one that any Republican President could nominate with a 55-seat Republican Senate who would be a pure "win" for us.

    "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

    by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:31:13 AM PDT

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    •  Roberts would, perhaps, be confirmed... (4.00)
      ...under any circumstances; the drama was to appease the Religious Right with appeals court nominees and at the same time reduce the friction over a Supreme, so that if there was any substantial fight (which was and is still possible) Bush could be more able to spin it as obstructionism, and so that it would be more likely that there would be no substantial fight, so that Bush could spin it is as unity.

      By feinting farther Right, the hoped-for dominant media reaction would be that Roberts (or any similar candidate) was more moderate than expected, rather than focussing on that he is a relatively run of the mill right-wing nominee only moderate by comparison to a pack of extremist nutballs.

      I agree that no one they could nominate would be a pure "win" for us, but that doesn't mean Roberts is any kind of "win" either.

      •  but remember (none)
        Coming out of the nuclear deal, Republicans were claiming that "if people with Owen's, Pryor's and Brown's beliefs aren't 'extraordinary circumstances', then clearly such people cannot be filibustered before the Supreme Court."

        But Bush didn't try to test that theory here.

        Yes, Roberts is only "more moderate than expected" and not, in all likelihood, an actual moderate.  But I don't know how we do better.

        "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

        by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:46:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Expected? Sure. But not a win. (4.00)
          Coming out of the nuclear deal, Republicans were claiming that "if people with Owen's, Pryor's and Brown's beliefs aren't 'extraordinary circumstances', then clearly such people cannot be filibustered before the Supreme Court."

          Yes, that's pretty key to the expectation strategy I outlined.

          Yes, Roberts is only "more moderate than expected" and not, in all likelihood, an actual moderate.  But I don't know how we do better.

          Doing no better and no worse than can be expected is not a win. I don't think this is any more or less than that. I'm not saying its a "loss", I'm saying its not accurate to say "we've already won".

        •  An aside (none)
          What evidence do we have that Roberts is "more moderate than expected?"  Just because we don't know that he is a total wingnut doesn't mean that he isn't a total wingnut.  Is there some evidence that he isn't?

          "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

          by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:37:26 AM PDT

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          •  we don't know that (none)
            And we need to ferret out what we can.

            But, politically, he's not the obvious gift to the religious right that a McConnell would be.

            "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

            by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:43:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Roberts' "moderation" not very material (4.00)
          I agree that it could have been worse.  But having Roberts rather than a frothing-at-the-mouth wingnut is mostly an expression of the limited political clout Bush has right now.

          The bottom line is, what is the difference between Roberts and the "worse" alternatives on the Court?

          Given the wingnut groups' reactions and Roberts own personal track record as much as we know about it right now, it looks to me like the main difference is that Roberts is temperamentally not a wingnut in terms of how he comports or expresses himself, but his judicial positions are very likely to be right in line with Scalia's.  IOW, he's likely to the right of Rehnquist, and in line with Scalia's end points though not the arrogance contemptuousness by which he gets there.

          IOW -- a more rhetorically palatable Scalia.  That's likely to be a greater danger within the dynamics of the Court, because Roberts could be smart enough to write in a way that could lure Kennedy to his position.  Whereas Scalia was so frequently offensive that he repeatedly drove both O'Connor and Kennedy away, and Thomas embraces such perverse positions that he attracts no one.

          It's really a "choose your poison" situation.  This was in a way a much shrewder choice than a frothing wingnut, who might have been beaten and who would have been a risky challenge for Bush at a time of political weakness.  Confirming Thomas took a huge piece out of Poppy Bush's hide politically; whereas it will be extremely difficult to find any way to make this one bloody unless we find some revealing writing or Roberts says something unexpected at the hearings, both of which are unlikely given his fairly genial and circumspect personality.

          This just isn't a win. Barring the unexpected as noted above, the most we can get out of this is some public and media education about how extreme Scalia and Thomas are by trying to force Roberts to declare himself a little via the Ackerman test.

        •  what on Earth makes you think he's moderate? (4.00)
          there is nothing in his small record to suggest so.  he's simply been a conservative water carrier his whole professional life.  

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