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November 07, 2005

The Score So Far Under Roberts: GLBT 1, Bigots 0


The new Roberts Court lets stand a critical ruling on transgender rights.

Now what was that the "gay rights" crowd was saying about the Chief Justice again?

September 23, 2005

I'm Too Sexy for This Robe


Many thanks to GOP Vixen for including me as a panelist in her "Sexiest Supreme Court Justice" contest.  (Winner: Clarence Thomas ... although John Roberts sorta wins if nominees are included.)

Here was my ballot (written pre-Rehnquist's death), including my unexpurgated answers regarding Clarence Thomas:

William Rehnquist: 8.5. I adore the $30,000 impeachment admiralty robe!  Has a Supreme Court chief justice ever been this consumed with couture before?  I imagine him alone at night with a bottle of Pinot Grigio, performing the complete score from HMS Pinafore.  Bonus points for the jaunty Windsor cap.
John Paul Stevens: 4.  Chicks dig the bowtie.  But majority opinion in FCC v Pacifica means he is unlikely to talk dirty in bed.
Antonin Scalia: 7.  "That's a spicy meatball!"  This Italian stallion would have scored a solid 9, but I docked him one point for his poor showing in the Miss Congeniality contest, and another point for his too-selective use of stare decisis.
Anthony Kennedy: 10.  Three words: Lawrence v Texas.  It doesn't get any sexier than that.
David Souter: 5.  Urban eroticism pre-empted by Yankee stoicism.
Clarence Thomas: 8.  The Malcontent thinks that whole "Long Dong Silver" business all might have been a bit of thinly disguised autobiographical projection.
Steven Breyer: 3.  Steven who?  His blank slate of a tenure (not to mention his entirely forgettable appearance) is a metaphor for the presidency of the man who nominated him.  But he gets a bonus point for not resorting to the comb-over.

September 06, 2005

Gonzales=Secret Code for Hispanic Nominee?


Scotushispanics Wonkette has this morning's White House pool report in which President Bush jokingly (perhaps) seems to throw Alberto Gonzales' name back into the SCOTUS mix.  (Then again, Bush was sitting directly across from the AG when he made his remark about "looking right at" him.)

But could this actually be a tip-off that a Hispanic nominee really is on the way?  I tend to doubt that it will be Gonzales himself, given the hackles his potential nomination originally raised on the right.  (See here, here, and here, for starters.)  So I will keep my Martinez mini-boomlet precariously afloat.

I think the chances of this president naming a nominee to the left of Roberts are virtually nil.  But perhaps friendship and loyalty will trump the once-in-a-generation chance to steer the court hard to starboard.

Q: Why Did the Cubano Cross the Road?


A: To get to the Supreme Court (from the U.S. Capitol, that is).

MartinezSo will Sen. Mel Martinez become the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice?  The conservative Newsmax.com says a "good source" tells them that Martinez's buddy, a guy known as "the President," just might make it happen.

If you think it's just idle speculation, remember that Newsmax also made the Roberts-for-CJ call weeks ago.

To get completely myopic for a moment, it's unclear exactly what this would mean for the gay community, but it certainly doesn't augur well.  Despite having had two (acknowledged) gay campaign staffers, Martinez has an anti-gay record.  (Some might argue that the previous link points only to support of the FMA as evidence of an "anti-gay" record, but there is a difference between those who merely voted for the FMA and those, like Martinez, who went out of their way to support it and campaign on it.  And although I have known many Republican gay staffers, it takes cojones to hire one who is himself so ardently anti-gay.)

Of course, this would demolish my Edith boomlet.  But it doesn't take a genius to think that an "under-represented" group would be a shoo-in, following the nomination of a white male Chief Justice.

September 05, 2005

Roberts Moves Up


Bush announces CJ nominee, and it's a familiar name.  You read it here first ... maybe.

I still think that means we'll see an "Edith" to replace O'Connor – probably Jones – with an outside shot of a Rogers Brown.

August 10, 2005

NARAL Plays Dubious Game of Moral Superiority


For an organization that advocates the right to kill the unborn anywhere, anytime, NARAL is sure playing a dangerous game in trying to assert moral superiority for the tactics they are employing against SCOTUS nominee John Roberts.

After being exposed as playing extremely fast and loose with the truth, NARAL is now attacking its attackers.

NARAL released an ad accusing Roberts of "supporting ... a convicted clinic bomber."  Problem is, the case in question occurred seven years before the bombing occurred.  As FactCheck.org, not exactly a partisan ax-grinder, points out, the ad at best leaves a "false implication" about Roberts' supporting violence.

NARAL's defense, however, amounts to little more than Gore-like legalisms -- lame excuses as to how the ad might be somewhat true on its face, while ignoring the false but logical inferences they are looking for viewers to draw from the slick juxtaposition of text, narration and video.

Read the FactCheck analysis for yourself.  Any dispassionate person should agree that the pro-abortion crowd has jerked a foul ball deep into the stands on this one.  If this is the best the loony left can gin up in their campaign against the "insert name here" nominee, then Judge Roberts should find it smooth sailing on his way to the bench.

There are eerie echos of the scurrilous and inflammatory NAACP/James Byrd ads against George Bush in 2000.  The left should be ashamed of itself.

August 05, 2005

Althouse Responds


Ann Althouse has rapped me for "flipping out" by including her among people on the right I believed to be "flipping out" about John Roberts' work on the Romer v Evans case.  (I also included a link to FreeRepublic, which is certainly not usually the level of discourse in a league with Ann's.)

Althouse's post essentially dwells on the distinction between pro bono representation and merely working on behalf of any old client.  I had believed her hard emphasis on the word "donating" to constitute at least mild "flipping out" about Roberts' actions.  And she makes while a slightly different argument than other conservatives, it was not inconsistent with the reaction I have seen on the right end of the blogosphere.

I have rarely been accused of having difficulties with reading comprehension.  But if I have indeed misconstrued or misrepresented her, I apologize.  I would do so a little more directly, but she doesn't post her email address, and I would need a Blogger account to comment on her site -- both substantial hurdles to productive dialogue.

I will note, however, that I also link to Althouse when I agree with her.

August 04, 2005

The Roberts Cipher Becomes Clearer


An L.A. Times story on SCOTUS nominee John Roberts' past work on behalf of gay-rights litigants is drawing a rather optimistic reaction from the gay commentariat.  Even the unhinged left is still unable to find much bad to say.  (The AMERICABlog link is from comments; the story link is broken -- although it appears that the underlying post tries to keep the despicable "Roberts or his family members must be gay" meme going.)

Towleroad calls the latest development "hopeful."

GayPatriot asks: "How can the Human Rights Campaign, Log Cabin Republicans and National Gay & Lesbian Socialist Task Force oppose him now?"

GayOrbit says "Not only did he help us out. He helped us out for FREE."

Roger Simon says: "It's not just because I support gay rights that I find this heartening. I like people who are able to 'go both ways' politically and are not so mired in the preconceptions of ideology that can't respond to the real world."

Ace Pryhill says "I await a righteously indignant mass email from the American Family Association condemning Judge Roberts for his assistance on Romer vs. Evans."

Bill and Kent say: "We are not going to get a nominee from the current President who will be 'pro-gay' or 'pro-choice'. It's just not going to happen. What we should all be looking for is a nominee who will be fair minded and open minded and see the side of other arguments and not be guided by some ideology that overrides that reasoning. ... Maybe he won't be so bad."

As Ace implied, some on the hard right, of course, are already flipping out, which is surely a good sign.  God forbid we should have a Supreme Court justice who actually represents the vast swath of Americans in the middle!  Plus, it's not exactly like the Republicans will oppose him, right?

But we should temper the optimism with caution.  It is all but impossible to ascribe Roberts' work on behalf of clients to his own personal views.  He himself has specifically drawn such a distinction.  Still, it is a hopeful sign that his firm took on the Romer case as pro bono work.

UPDATE (more reaction): ND30 says the story reveals the "studied ignorance and outright mendacity" of pro-abortion groups.