Friday, July 22, 2005

More on Roberts from Powerline

Powerline's initial reaction to John Robert's nomination was utter joy. Now, they are not so sure. But, as usual, they provide very useful factual information that tends to pull me back towards approving of Roberts. They relate an annecdote from a former law clerk of Roberts at a private firm. The key quote is:

"All of that said, my best guess is that he would be a very conservative justice. And because he is so gifted and so decent a human being, he might become incredibly influential on the Court, moving it in ways that justices like Scalia and Thomas have been incapable. In short, he could ultimately be a progressive's worst case scenario."
It would, of course, be fabulous if Roberts could get a smart justice like Breyer, or even a spineless justice like Souter, to join conservative opinions via his charm.

Contrast this with John Derbyshire's observation on DerbRadio on NRO:
"Y’know, I don’t have a good feeling about Judge Roberts. When the news first came through, I smiled happily — Hey, W didn’t go for a diversity hire! Our President has guts! Then I got a good look at Roberts. Squeaky clean, or what? Looks like a male model, picture-book family, devout, unblemished career… Whew! Nothing wrong with any of that, of course, but… Where’s the mean streak? The guy’s going to have to stand up to a lot of pressure to “grow” — you know, like “grow.” Some stand up to that pressure better than others. The ones who stand up best seem to be the ones with, well, not exactly a mean streak, but a streak of opinionated crankiness and contrariness. Does JR have that? If he has, he’s kept it well hidden. But let’s hope."
Will Robert's nice guy schtick allow him to pull lefties to the right or will it make it more likely that lefties will pull him to the left? Given all of my vast political experience and observation, Derb's guess is WAY more likely. The Left is ruthless, sociopathic, evil. Charm don't do squat.


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