Alpine Summit

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Let's Look at the Front Page of the NYT Today...

On my way to work I usually pick up a free copy of the Times. It's a promo thing they do through the graduate school at my school. Anyway, what story do I see on the front page? "An Advocate For the Right" talking about how Roberts, during the Reagan administration (that's, 20 years ago) was some uber right-wing hack and that's why conservatives are endorsing him. A copy of the article was reprinted by the International Herald Tribune for your viewing pleasure.

He favored less government enforcement of civil rights laws rather than more. He criticized court decisions that required a thick wall between church and state. He took the side of prosecutors over criminal defendants. He maintained that the courts should be limited and the president's powers enhanced.

Roberts was only 26 when he joined the Reagan administration and 31 when he left. But the ideology he expressed as a young man helps explain why conservative activists seem pleased with him today, even without a detailed record of conservative advocacy.

He favored less government enforcement of civil rights laws rather than more. He criticized court decisions that required a thick wall between church and state. He took the side of prosecutors over criminal defendants. He maintained that the courts should be limited and the president's powers enhanced.

Roberts was only 26 when he joined the Reagan administration and 31 when he left. But the ideology he expressed as a young man helps explain why conservative activists seem pleased with him today, even without a detailed record of conservative advocacy.

The reporter (David Rosenbaum) subtly puts his own bias in this part. Did you miss it? He says "...helps explain why conservative activists seem pleased with him..." as if to say conservative activists can only endorse right-wing ideologies and are unable to be impartial (oh, that liberal media). Nevermind the fact that nobody knew this information before today; that doesn't matter, conservatives only endorsed him because he worked for Reagan.

Olson, who considerably outranked Roberts and who was one of the nations most widely known conservative lawyers on constitutional matters, was arguing that Congress' hands were tied because the Supreme Court had ruled that busing was constitutionally required in some circumstances.

"Even the conservatives thought Roberts was too right-wing for his own good!" Please. First off, I should repeat myself: this was 20 YEARS AGO at the beginning of Roberts' career. A lot can happen in 20 years and this is hardly any kind of "smoking gun" or whatever.

The article goes on to fault him for his stance for school prayer; not keeping religion strictly separated from any public venue. As if this was something to fault him on, it isn't like he's advocating a theocracy movement or anything.

There was also this where he argues about affirmative action:

"Under our view of the law," he wrote in 1981, "it is not enough to say that blacks and women have been historically discriminated against as groups and are therefore entitled to special preferences."

Oh, the horrors! How DARE he mention that people shouldn't get preferential treatment because of the color of their skin or the way their people (not necessarily them) have been treated in the past. But then, I guess this is a conservative viewpoint after all since he believes minorities can take care of themselves and don't need the government from cradle to grave. I would hardly count this as "right-wing" though. More like "right-of-center."

Anyway, the article goes on from there. You can read it for yourself to see how Roberts was 20 years ago fresh out of college for an idea of how he will behave today with 20 years of experience under his belt. Then again, maybe not.

Mark my words: the democrats will pounce on this news FAST. Kennedy, Dean, Reid, Pelosi et. al. will come out saying how he'll be a tool to the Bush administration, and how we don't need right-wing extremists on the court, and why they can't in good concience vote to confirm Roberts to the SCOTUS. When it's all over, you'll see a narrow approval of Roberts after all the filibustering (read: whining) from the Democrats... hopefully before 2008.

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