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What Would People Think?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More on Roberts

Ok, I haven't exactly kept up on my promise to write more about soon-to-be Justice John Roberts. But if you're looking for fair-minded, detailed analysis of some of his opinions, I've got some links for ya.

For analysis of Roberts's scary deference to the President on war-on-terror issues, click here.

For analysis of Roberts's much-maligned opinion about the Endangered Species Act, and how it might not be as bad as it seems, click here.

Finally, for an analysis of some of the memos Roberts wrote as a lawyer (which I haven't read yet), click here.

Coming soon: Why I think the media and my fellow liberals are being entirely unfair to Roberts in the "french fry" case.

All of this isn't to say Roberts will be a wonderful Justice. After all, he's a Bush nominee. But I present this so you, my reader(s) will be better informed.


  • I'm not being unfair at all to Roberts. It was unfortunate that he had to uphold the decision. It doesn't stop it from being HILARIOUS.

    By Blogger Mike, at 7/27/2005 12:06 AM  

  • I wasn't really referring to you, Mike. A lot of people are taking that case quite seriously and calling it evidence that Roberts doesn't give a damn about civil rights. That may be true, but this case doesn't prove that at all.

    By Blogger Ben, at 7/27/2005 9:19 AM  

  • Roberts' Hamdan ruling might not be as bad as it seems either. As I understand it, the ruling simply states that Bush was within his rights in setting up a military tribunal for a foreigner detained in a US prison camp. From what I understand of US law, it's pretty lax with regards to presidential power in such cases (and Geneva's pretty vague when it comes to wars against non-countries).

    That's not to say that the tribunals are right. But Congress needs to pass legislation outlawing such show trials - or at least clarify existing law to rein in executive power - before the courts can get involved. It's somewhat unfair to say Roberts gave Bush a blank check (as Slate did). Congress was the one writing it, and so they deserve the lion's share of the blame as well as the responsibility for cleaning it up.

    Roberts' true test will come when the Padilla case makes its way to the Supreme Court (as it almost certainly will - and here I'm assuming Roberts gets confirmed). He's a US citizen, and so the executive is bound by the Constitution and 200-odd years worth of law dealing with how the justice system should treat citizens. Will Roberts vote to give Padilla due-process rights? By the time we know, alas, it'll be too late.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 7/28/2005 3:37 PM  

  • Actually, Hamdan is much worse than that.

    It entirely defers to the President's infamous 2002 memo that said terrorist detainees aren't prisoners of war and therefore aren't entitled to any Geneva Convention protections. In fact, the case says that detainees don't even have the right to enforce the Convention's protections or go to court to see if the protections DO apply to them. Why? Because the President said so.

    I highly recommend you read the post I linked to. It's still possible that Roberts would go the other way on Padilla, who has a stronger case than Hamdan. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

    By Blogger Ben, at 7/28/2005 10:26 PM  

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