home

A Hopeful View of Chief Justice Roberts

by TChris

Finding a silver lining in the Supreme Court's refusal to review Jose Padilla's claim that his detention as an enemy combatant was unconstitutional, Michael Dorf speculates that "Chief Justice Roberts may be more committed than most observers would have guessed, to a substantial judicial role in defending civil liberties against executive encroachment." Dorf is heartened by Roberts' decision to join the concurring opinion of Justice Kennedy, which "warn[ed] the government that the Supreme Court and the lower courts stand ready to enforce Padilla's rights--including the right to a speedy trial and to habeas corpus review--should the government continue to dither with Padilla."

These are, of course, nothing more than speculations. What is not speculation is the fact that the new Chief Justice--like every one of his predecessors--has already put substantial distance between himself and the positions of the Administration that just months ago nominated him to the Court.

< Another Day, Another Administration Lie Exposed | Innocent Man Can Sue Louisville For Wrongful Conviction >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    Re: A Hopeful View of Chief Justice Roberts (none / 0) (#1)
    by wg on Wed Apr 12, 2006 at 12:04:19 PM EST
    I read Dorf as attempting to stoke Roberts' ego - you are your own man now, no need to defer to people who put you there. Noble goal given that judiciary is the only viable player in the fight to restore some constitutional balance and rule of law in this country. Congress abdicated much of its traditional role in civic and oversight matters long time ago, viz for example the spectacle of even Sensenbrenner restricting himself to impotent whining when dealing with Gonzales' persistent refusals to provide them with anything. Congress as a potted palm as Conyers puts it. I tend to agree with Dorf, the signs are that Roberts is not an entirely hopeless case. Alito on the other hand appears as hopeless as they come, instinctive deference to executive powers be it police, prisons, or Bush administration every way you look even when he tries to conceal it. If Roberts really evolves this way, we will have one mightily pissed off right wing on our hands. These two guys are their pride and joy.

    Re: A Hopeful View of Chief Justice Roberts (none / 0) (#2)
    by Aaron on Wed Apr 12, 2006 at 07:04:20 PM EST
    That's the great thing about intelligent thoughtful people, they have a great deal of difficulty following fools. John Roberts may be a conservative, but true conservatives don't wanna see United States of America go down the drain, which is where the Bush administration and corporate domination of government policy making is leading us. An independent judiciary is vital to the maintenance of a democratic republic. I guess we should all just be thankful that the George W. Bush's lawyer/maid Harriet Ellan Miers didn't get a seat on the Supreme Court. Even the conservatives aren't that crazy.

    Re: A Hopeful View of Chief Justice Roberts (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 07:19:22 PM EST
    The cynical can say this was more of a strategic move to ensure that Kennedy did not vote to grant cert. Something of a half empty/full situation perhaps.