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Roberts' Hearing Delayed Until Next Monday

The Judiciary Committee has delayed the confirmation hearing of Judge John Roberts until next Monday. Chair Arlen Specter says he expects the hearing to take no more than one week, which would put Roberts on the Court for the beginning of the October 3 session.

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Roberts' Nomination Does Not Mean O'Connor Will Stay

From appellate whiz Peter Goldberger (in the TL commments):

Justice O'Connor does not "have to stay for awhile"; she can supersede her conditional resignation letter with an unconditional retirement. I believe this is likely, given the motivation for her leaving the Court, which is to devote her primary attention to her ailing husband. I predict that she will announce her immediate retirement soon after Rehnquist's funeral.

It is important to understand that "Chief Justice of the United States" (not "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court," as Bush mistakenly stated this morning) is a separate office. Roberts is no longer proposed to replace O'Connor; his nomination to that position has effectively been withdrawn....

For the re-opened vacancy for an Associate Justice, I bet Bush picks a highly "conservative" jurist who is Hispanic (if he can find a Protestant -- gotta watch that base; Roberts is, what, a third Catholic on the Court? Further proof that real Christians are being discriminated against, right Pat?) and/or female.

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Reaction to John Roberts' Chief Justice Nomination

Senator Edward Kennedy responds to President Bush's elevation of John Roberts nomination from Justice to Chief Justice(received by e-mail):

.....Only 17 Americans have held this position since the birth of our country. The Chief Justice is the most important judge in the country, with even more responsibility for the protection of the rights and freedoms of all Americans. Thus John Roberts bears a heavier burden when he comes before the Senate. The Chief Justice must be committed to moving America forward toward equality, opportunity and fairness for all Americans.

Our review of even the limited available parts of his record has raised serious concerns about his role in the early 1980's in seeking to weaken voting rights, roll back women's rights, and impede our progress toward a more equal nation. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, which were due to begin this week, were the opportunity for the Senate and the American people to hear from John Roberts about those extreme views and explain his position on these and many other vital issues facing the country.

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Roberts nominated Chief Justice, Hearings Delayed

by Last Night in Little Rock

President Bush just nominated John Roberts, age 50, to be appointed Chief Justice.

Justice O'Connor will have to stay for a while since her retirement was dependent on confirming a replacement.

CNN is reporting right now that it takes worrying about Rehnquist's and O'Connor's replacements "off the table" while the President deals with Katrina.

Update: (TL) The New York Times reports that the hearings will be delayed until Thursday at the earliest, and perhaps until Monday.

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Roberts Hearing Should Be Delayed

I wrote on Friday that confirmation hearings for Judge Roberts should be delayed in the wake of the Katrina disaster. Armando at Daily Kos shared this view.

It seems some Democrats are coming round to this way of thinking. TV news this morning is reporting that Sen. Chris Dodd says Bush should ask O'Connor to stay on. Republicans, including Sen. John Cornyn, apparently want to press on with the hearings.

My prediction: They will be delayed. No one's heart is in them.

Update: Word reaches me that Kennedy and Schumer are calling for a delay out of respect.

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Roberts Hearings Still Scheduled for Tuesday

Does anyone else think the confirmation hearings on Judge John Roberts, scheduled for Tuesday, should be continued so that Congress can focus on how to help those in need from Katrina - particularly the displaced persons from New Orleans?

As I remember, Justice O'Connor told President Bush she would stay on until Roberts was confirmed, so why not ask her to stay on one more term?

Armando at Daily Kos has more thoughts on this.

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Dems Seek Roberts' Documents on Iran-Contra Aid

Yale Law Prof and blogger Jack Balkin explains why the Administration should turn over memos from Judge John Roberts to then-Reagan aide Patrick J. Buchanan in March 1986 on the subject of aid to Nicaraguans who were fighting the leftist Sandinista government. Background from the Washington Post is here. Balkin writes:

....during his time in the Reagan Administration John Roberts offered advice on the establishment of the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (NHAO), an organization used by the Reagan Administration to circumvent the Boland Amendment. For those of you who don't remember, the Boland Amendment made it illegal for U.S. intelligence agencies to provide covert funding to the contras in Nicaragua.

Balkin says that to get around the amendment, Reagan approved a plan by John Poindexter and Oliver North to sell anti-tank and anti-aircraft missles to Iran, the funds from which were then provided to the contras.

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Roberts: Conflict of Interest?

by TChris

Senators Charles Schumer and Russ Feingold would like John Roberts to explain his decision to sit on the panel considering the Hamdan appeal. The United States, after all, was a party to that appeal, and Judge Roberts was being interviewed for a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court while the appeal was pending. In fact, his nomination was announced just a few days after the Hamdan decision was released.

“Why did you believe it was appropriate to continue participating in the Hamdan case while being interviewed for a vacancy on the Supreme Court?” the Democratic senators asked in the letter. The senators said Roberts' answers will determine whether they bring the issue up at his confirmation hearings beginning Sept. 6.

Pointing out that Judge Roberts recused himself from a case involving the American Bar Association, which rated his fitness for a position on the Supreme Court, the senators thought it was “clear that you have long understood the ethical issues raised by continuing to work on a case in which a party is considering you for another position.”

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Turning Up the Heat on John Roberts

I have a new edition of "Scoring Scotus" up on Judge John Roberts over at Eric Alterman's Altercation today. And definitely check out PFAW's new report on the nominee here.

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John Roberts Argued for National ID Card

USA Today reports that in 1983, Judge John Roberts lobbied for a national ID card.

When he worked in the Reagan White House in 1983, John Roberts made the case for a national ID card, saying in a memo that it would help address the “real threat to our social fabric posed by uncontrolled immigration.”

I'm beginning to think the confimation hearings may get feisty after all. If they don't, there's something wrong with our Senate Democrats.

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Roberts to Women: Stay in the Kitchen

by TChris

Judge Roberts presumably rubbed sticks together to start a fire in his cave before using a dinosaur bone to scrawl these words on the wall:

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts disparaged state efforts to combat discrimination against women in Reagan-era documents made public Thursday, and wondered whether "encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good."

Does encouraging sexists to join the Supreme Court contribute to the common good?

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Roberts and the Democrats' Dilemma

Altercation today has new ediiton of "Scoring Scotus" - scroll down to "Roberts' Confirmations Hearings: Light on the Mayo or Heavy on the Mustard?" And thanks to Eric for giving me another opportunity to contribute.

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Missing Documents

by TChris

In July, members of the Bush administration reviewed files at the National Archives concerning Judge Roberts' writings on affirmative action. Now, when Senate Democrats want to review the files, they've gone missing. The National Archives staff is taking the heat for the "clerical error," and claim they can reconstruct the file, but a suspicious mind might wonder why documents concerning a contentious issue disappeared after the administration reviewed them.

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Roberts and the Death Penalty

Elaine Cassel examines Judge John Roberts and what his confirmation might mean for death penalty jurisprudence. It's not a pretty picture.

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Harry Reid: Roberts' Speculation Premature and Laughable

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid issued this statement today (received by e-mail) in response to articles suggesting the Dems have already decided not to fight the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John Roberts:

"All this talk about whether Democrats will support the Roberts nomination is laughably premature. The hearings have not even begun. The White House has so far refused to produce relevant documents, and the documents we have seen raise questions about the nominee's commitment to progress on civil rights.

“John Roberts must still persuade the Senate and the American people that he is a worthy replacement for Justice O'Connor and the jury is still out on that."

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