Monday, July 25

John G. Roberts is not another Souter

It's good to see that the administration is thinking way ahead in this Suprem Court nomination. Barring any surprises, let us hope that Roberts is a steady justice and that he doesn't evolve and move to the left in the years to come. This is a great article from the Weekly Standard that sheds light on the interview process and the issues the president was focusing on.
IN THE DAYS BEFORE PRESIDENT Bush picked a Supreme Court nominee, the White House was gripped by Souter-phobia. Bush and his aides desperately wanted to avert the disaster that befell his father's White House in 1990. The elder Bush, on the advice of his chief of staff John Sununu and Senator Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, picked an unknown judge, David Souter, for the Supreme Court, thinking he was a conservative. Souter turned out to be a flaming liberal, so much so that Senator Ted Kennedy now regrets having voted against confirming him. In naming Souter, Bush had passed over another judge he'd interviewed for the job, a real conservative from Texas named Edith Jones. The reason: Confirmation of Souter looked easier and probably was. For conservatives, however, his elevation to the High Court was a mistake for the ages.

Fear of another Souter led George W. Bush to seek the answer to a single question when he interviewed five potential nominees. All five were deemed to be conservatives. The question was whether they'd be the same 25 years from now as they are today--in other words, just as conservative. The interviews lasted from one hour to nearly two. Bush found John Roberts the most impressive. He decided Roberts would not lurch to the left as Souter had or even drift in that direction as other Supreme Court appointees of Republican presidents have. A White House official said Bush doesn't expect Roberts to "grow in office."