Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Annie Get Your Gun

Coulter is going to take a lot of hits from the cheerleaders for her skepticism on Roberts. But isn't she only asking the questions the rest would be asking if they had any understanding of the core issues and the history of these nominations?

All the usual suspects are doing an end-zone dance, from the National Review crowd to Republican-Shill-in-Chief Hugh Hewitt. They're wetting themselves asserting that Bush has "hit a home run." But one thing they all share in common is an absolute lack of ability to tell us anything about his judicial philosophy. Is it really asking too much in the wake of O'Connor and Souter for the president to nominate someone with a clear judicial philosophy?

The Amen Corner is saying that Roberts is just an excellent, excellent choice. Now, he's no ideologue, they caution. He's not going to "slash and burn his way through an opinion" like Scalia does. But he's conservative nonetheless.

But what does this mean, exactly? Are Thomas and Scalia considered "ideologues" even by people on the right because they believe the meaning of the text of the Constitution ought to be what governs decisions? And if Roberts isn't one of them, then what meaning does he think should govern decisions? It's kinda like being pregnant: either you are or you aren't. You cannot be a semi-originalist. Either the text governs, or the opinion of the judge does. If it's not the text, it's not originalism. If that is "ideological," so be it.

They talk about Roberts' intellect, his integrity, his humor, and his ability as a litigator. But still nobody is addressing the only question that matters: what is his approach to interpreting and applying the Constitution?

Coulter is going to get pummeled hard by the rah-rah chorus for demanding answers to these questions. And perhaps Roberts will turn out to be a wonderful choice. But in a world where David Souter freely roams, shouldn't the cheerleaders be embarrassed that they aren't asking these questions?

No comments: