Since Armando and I last posted diaries asking readers to think of questions we would like Judge Roberts to answer, much more infromation about Judge Roberts has emerged. Articles have pointed to memoranda showing a young, then-Reagan Department employee John Roberts's disagreement with Ted Olson over court-stripping bills. Articles in the Washington Post
and the New York Times
have shown a young John Roberts expressing hostility to affirmative action programs and to a broad application of the Voting Rights Act. The websites of the Washington Post
and the New York Times
have sections containing articles, editorials, memorandums written by Roberts, and an array of items pertaining to the Roberts record.
This morning, with a light workload, I looked through the Roberts confirmation hearing to the D.C. Circuit. The hearing is over 730 pages, and because the Senate included two other controversial nominees -- then-Prof. Jeffrey Sutton of Ohio and then-Ohio State Supreme Court Justice Deborah Cook -- Judge Roberts did not receive as nearly much attention as the two other controversial nominees.
So now we move onto questions involving Judge Roberts. I think the best questions we can ask Judge Roberts are ones that would pertain to his record and how his judicial philosophy is consistent with opinions of landmark Supreme Court decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education or Miranda v. Arizona. We want to ask questions that would compel almost all Democrats, even Republicans, to oppose the nomination. Asking what Judge Roberts's role was in the Florida recount may get Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, and Barbara Boxer to vote against the nominee and may satisfy our personal needs, but wasting such scarce resources on probing that issue will do little good. So here are some questions I thought about:
- Judge Roberts, you wrote a memorandum as a young lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department arguing for laws stripping the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction over cases involving abortion, school prayer, and school busing. You wrote, [Insert quote here.]. What was your reasoning for such laws?
- Judge Roberts, as a young lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department, you expressed some hostile views of affirmative action programs and to broad application of the Voting Rights Act. You wrote, [List quotes here.] What was your reasoning for holding such views?
- Judge Roberts, you argued in writing that the Constitution does not require state prisoners to have their claims heard in federal court. You wrote in a 1981 memorandum, "The current availability of federal habeas corpus, particularly for state prisoners, goes far to making a mockery of the entire criminal justice system." Please explain your reasoning for such views.
- Judge Roberts, the record shows that you were involved in many controversial issues during your tenure under the Reagan Justice Department. Can you name any position(s) you regret taking and/or advocating as a young lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department?
- Judge Roberts, please describe how your judicial philosophy is consistent with the opinion of the court in Brown v. Board of Education? In Miranda v. Arizona? In Miranda's reaffirmation, Dickerson v. United States? In Roe v. Wade?
- Judge Roberts, according to your judicial philosophy, what right(s), if any, are enumerated in the Constitution even though the right(s) may not be explicitly mentioned in the text?
Anyhow, this diary is getting long, so before you get bored (if you haven't by this point), here is the last paragraph. Please tell Kossacks how you feel about these questions for Judge Roberts, and let Kossacks and Senators
know if you have any more questions for Judge Roberts.