Thursday, July 21, 2005

Will Roberts be a mistake?

The initial reaction from conservatives and evangelicals like myself to the Roberts nomination was very positive. Hugh Hewitt said it was a "home run."

Two days after the selection, the consensus seems to be that the Roberts pick was a very clever political move from the Bush team - someone who will be confirmed relatively easily, yet who will satisfy the conservative base. Someone likable, reserved, brilliant, highly qualified, and without a long judicial track record to scrutinize, yet who also has excellent conservative credentials.

But some conservatives are doubting him. And indeed, the recent history of Republican nominees turning out to be anti-originalist is disheartening. Since Roberts is almost a blank slate when it comes to judicial decisions, how do we know for sure what he'll do? And with a Republican majority in the Senate, couldn't Bush have picked an outspoken candidate whose judicial philosophy is not in question? Sure, there would be a much tougher confirmation fight, but the Constitution is more important than a friendly atmosphere in Washington.

Of course, if Bush is right about his nomination, there's nothing to worry about. He's the one who interviewed him; hopefully, he knows what he's doing, and won't repeat the mistakes of Reagan and Bush Sr.

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