Thursday, July 21, 2005

A hypothetical SCOTUS confirmation question.


Unlike White House Press Reptile Scott McClellan, I have no aversion to hypothetical questions so let me throw out this one. As everyone realizes by now, SCOTUS nominee John Roberts is almost certain to be confirmed as the next Supreme, even by Democrats who are most likely just going to hold their noses and give him a pass.

But what if Roberts doesn't play nice during the confirmation hearings? Everyone expects him to tap dance as much as possible, and avoid all the hard questions. But what if he just came right out and said, "Roe v. Wade? I think that was a horrendous decision, and I can't wait for the chance to overturn it."

Then what? In a more general sense, is there some level of mind-blowing wingnuttery Roberts could demonstrate during the hearings that would cause the Dems to just say, forget it, this guy's a loon? And would openly criticizing Roe v. Wade rise to that level of wingnuttery?

Better yet, is there some level of wingnuttery that would cause even moderate Republicans to vote against Roberts? That's hideously unlikely but you never know.

4 comments:

Scott F said...

"SCOTUS nominee John Roberts is almost certain to be confirmed as the next Supreme, even by Democrats who are most likely just going to hold their noses and give him a pass."

Remember when he was JD Roberts on Toronto's CITY TV. Dude's come a long way.

David Parsons said...

"Better yet, is there some level of wingnuttery that would cause even moderate Republicans to vote against Roberts?"

Boiling and eating a muslim baby at the confirmation hearings might do it. But I'd not bet money on that. The only surefire way to stop the Republican from voting for Roberts would be if he and his boyfriend popped up to Montreal and got married just before the confirmation hearings, but I don't know if that would count as "wingnutty"

Ahistoricality said...

That would be a sight to see: someone answering real questions with real answers. Here's a few disqualifiers

* Atheism. (last thing I read said that he was a lifelong devoted Catholic)

* Alien abduction (though how it would come up eludes me).

* Placing Presidential authority over Congressional authority (he's been pretty deferential to the executive as a judge, and his career is in Republican administrations; if I were in Congress I'd be pretty worried about branch bias).

A frontal assault on privacy and Roe would make moderate republicans nervous (remember Specter's last election?) because of the strong majority support for those things. Even in relatively safe Republican seats, a strong moderate Democrat armed with a bad confirmation hearing could be dangerous.

CathiefromCanada said...

Yeah -- ask him whether he has stopped beating his wife.
But they are already setting Roberts up to answer as few questions as possible, particularly about abortion. His decision on the french fry case has a tone of not wanting to rock the boat.