More than any decision in Bush's second term, conservatives around the country have been focused on what he'd do when faced with a Supreme Court vacancy. Their hope was for a demonstrably conservative nominee with a streak of daring. In Roberts, they didn't get one, at least from all appearances.Bill Kristol:
...Social conservatives were hoping for more. No doubt they'll line up in support of Roberts when Democrats like Schumer and groups such as People for the American Way begin to attack him. But they dream of the day when there are five votes on the court to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Now there are only three. Is Roberts likely to join a anti-Roe bloc on the court? Probably not.
It's true that Roberts is a Rehnquist, not a Scalia or a Thomas. He'll be a little more incremental, a little more cautious, than some of us rabid constitutionalists will sometimes like.Constitutional attorney Douglas Kmiec:
John Roberts is Bill Brennan. No, no. (Don't worry.) Not in terms of liberal ideology, but in the splendid gifts he brings to the Court. Like the late Justice William Brennan, John Roberts is a very likeable man.The editors of National Review:
...There is a good deal of nonsense already circulating that John Roberts will just carry to the Court a political agenda to reverse Roe and the like. John Roberts is neither pro-life nor pro-abortion; he is pro-democracy — a uniquely American democracy under a rule of law.
Roberts’s views on the hot-button issues that come before the Supreme Court are unknown. But by all accounts, he has a brilliant legal mind, a judicious temperament, and generally conservative views. He will, almost certainly, be an improvement on his predecessor.Quinn Hillyer:
He's just too solid, too respected, too well credentialed, and too judicious to give much ammunition to the character assassins of the Left. And while many of us conservatives were sort of itching for somebody conservative enough to force a real hard fight but strong enough to assure victory and thus utterly demoralize the Left, the president realized that such a fight would be bad for the country.U.C. Berkeley law professor John C. Yoo:
He's the type of person that business conservatives and judicial-restraint conservatives will like but the social conservatives may not like. What the social conservatives want is someone who will overturn Roe. v. Wade and change the court's direction on privacy. But he represents the Washington establishment. These Washington establishment people are not revolutionaries, and they're not out to shake up constitutional law. They might make course corrections, but they're not trying to sail the boat to a different port.Who's excited! Hooray!!