Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Crimson Ties

So, here's a curious thing - John Roberts was at Harvard 1973-1979 (BA and JD) - so he must be a liberal, right? All these Ivy Leaguers are liberals. It is the indoctrination they get from all the liberal faculty.

Roberts at Harvard

""John took ‘Physics for Poets’ and grumbled the whole time,” Bush said."

George W Bush was at Harvard during that time (MBA 1975). (Different Bush was Roberts roommate quoted above).

PS: small world. Well known Ivy League liberal Grover Norquist was at Harvard BA (Econ) in '78, then MBA. Wonder if he knew either Bush or Roberts.

So, did they know each other? A junior history major would not necessarily interact with an MBA, but they would be likely to move in similar social circles, and possibly be involved in same campus groups.

In any case, Roberts' answers are so elegantly non-responsive as to be almost Clintonian. Clearly he has strong preconceived notions on most, if not all, of the social hot-button issues the Senators are pressing him on. It is possible but unlikely that he will do a U-turn once in the chair, but chances are he is in fact reliably conservative in the ways the White House considers important.

So, what will he do:

1) he will not stand up for judicial independence, but lean to a narrow "interpret policy" stance, unless the democrats recapture the House and pass progressive laws. He may not fight for judges that Congress tries to impeach on political grounds (like the "foreign precedent" argument being impeachable bad conduct). If he lets crap like that slide, he may become the worst Chief Justice yet.

2) he will interpret the "commerce clause" very narrowly, limiting federal power

3) he will weaken the "implicit privacy" precedents, possibly severly

4) he will not overturn Roe vs Wade - but 10+ years from now if there is a majority to do so, he will vote with the new majority to overturn Roe vs Wade and return the issue to the States

5) I think he will yield on the exceptions clause, though that is such a blow to the court's power that he may balk

6) I think he will gradually shrink the cases the Supreme Court reviews, as the federal courts become more conservative, but he might take on cases where there is opportunity to weaken or reverse precedent (which would normally be rejected as settled law)

7) he will support an "imperial presidency" with significantly weakened restraints, unless the Democrats win the White House

I can hope to be wrong on this.

“When he was considering law schools, John removed Stanford from his list because the Stanford interviewer was wearing sandals and didn’t have a tie,” Bush said.

But, I don't think so. He was 20 years old at the time.


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