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Judge John Roberts: No Friend of the Accused

Among the documents released from Judge John Roberts' tenure as Associate White House Counsel during the Reagan era are memos criticizing the Supreme Court Justices for accepting too many death penalty appeals and prisoners-rights cases:

Mr. Roberts wrote in a memorandum to his boss, Fred F. Fielding, the White House counsel, that ...the court had only itself to blame for its burden of cases.

"If the justices truly think they are overworked, the cure lies close at hand," Mr. Roberts wrote. "The fault lies with the justices themselves....He wrote that if the court took fewer death penalty and prisoner-rights cases, the docket would be cut by at least a half-dozen cases a year. He added a comment that may signal his view of the Supreme Court's proper role.

In another memo, Roberts argued for term limits for federal judges. His reason?

He went on to argue that lifetime tenure was more defensible when judges limited themselves to strict application of the Constitution. When judges strayed into social policy-making, he said, they made a case for limited terms. "The federal judiciary today benefits from an insulation from political pressure even as it usurps the roles of the political branches," he said.

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  • Re: Judge John Roberts: No Friend of the Accused (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:45 PM EST
    Okay, it's time for liberals and dems to wake up and realize that this man should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT be on the Supreme Court. This meme that he's "the best we can expect from Bush" has to stop now and a concentrated fight against his nomination must begin. This memo, with his dissent in the Gitmo case (or was it a terrorism case, I'm on a roll and I'm not going to go check right now) alone should disqualify him. It's not just about abortion rights. It's about prisoner's rights, about defendent's rights, about voter's rights. It's about the constitution and the need to defend it. If this is the best we can expect from Bush, then maybe we need to delay all Supreme Court nominees till 2008. One last question for any answers. How come the "strict constructionists" (an argument that fails on legislative intent) can never seem to deal with this; Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Re: Judge John Roberts: No Friend of the Accused (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:45 PM EST
    "This memo, with his dissent in the Gitmo case (or was it a terrorism case, I'm on a roll and I'm not going to go check right now) alone should disqualify him." Perfect. -C

    Re: Judge John Roberts: No Friend of the Accused (none / 0) (#3)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:45 PM EST
    Its time to see it for what it is, a Bush Rat running for power over people for the mass murder of this non nation, and chip beckett its not the dems or the rights it the real power of this non nation who want Roberts on the so called supreme court, it's all just a game of evil. and Judge Rat Roberts will be the guy to order the camps opened.

    Re: Judge John Roberts: No Friend of the Accused (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:01:46 PM EST
    I'm no fan of violent criminals, but I still believe that they should get every appeal coming to them, no matter what the backlog is in the courts. After all, these are people's lives we're talking about here. Surely a life is worth a few more weeks of piled up papers?