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July 02, 2012

Who Leaked Roberts' Vote-Flip?

Orin Kerr doesn't know, but speculates it had to be a clerk or even a conservative justice.

One problem I have with the leak: Roberts is now a Liberal Super Hero. And the conservatives don't like him, and are leaking about him.

If you think, as I do, he's a weak man and a politician first, you have to worry that he is now Owned and Operated by the liberal caucus, don't you?

He wrote an opinion to get Loved by All the Right People. Well, he has that now, and furthermore, All the Right People are the only people who love him. The wrong people don't love him any longer. So where do you imagine a weak, affirmation-seeking man would go next?

I think we just saw the birthing of a 5-4 liberal majority, something that will only be undone if a Republican president is elected, and gets to choose two (or at least one) more conservative justices.

And that's a hard thing to do. Because while Democratic presidents have a perfect track record of picking absolutely-partisan, reliably liberal votes, Republicans are only batting .500.

This, I think, is the main reason for that:

Another factor is that liberal Supreme Court nominees can tell you precisely how they stand on key issues and still get confirmed. In her 1993 confirmation hearings, Ginsburg declared the right to abortion “central to a woman’s life, to her dignity” and was confirmed 96 to 3. Breyer declared abortion a “basic right” and was confirmed 87-9. Imagine if a conservative nominee said the opposite? Their confirmation battle would be a nuclear war.

Liberal nominees can simply affirm liberal positions, while conservatives must speak cryptically in terms of their judicial philosophy. And as we saw last week, those philosophical statements do not necessarily indicate how they will vote on the bench. During his confirmation hearings, Roberts famously compared the role of a judge to that of a baseball umpire whose job “is to call balls and strikes.” This was taken as a promise that, as President Bush put it, “he’s not going to legislate from the bench.”

This suggests that Republicans can no longer confirm liberal justices, at least not until a treaty is reached on this point. We cannot confirm their guys, while our guys must, essentially, have no paper trail in their record. "No paper trail" means that liberals can't say definitively that he's one of those Crazy Right-Wingers; but "no paper trail" means that conservatives can't definitively say he's a Crazy Right-Winger, either.

I don't think liberals are going to agree to vote for conservative justices until there's an actual "crisis," and by "crisis," I mean conservatives simply refuse to confirm known liberal justices (and appellate judges, too). That will of course be a "crisis" in their eyes, and therefore the media will play up the Crisis in the Judiciary.

But that's what it will take.

And speaking of love, Howard Kurtz notes the media has a man-crush on Justice Roberts, and he actually uses those words in the headline.

The liberal lionization of John Roberts is roaring through the media.

...

One moment he is the bęte noire of the left, a right-wing legal hack who lied about being a neutral umpire, and the next he is a profile in courage, rising above petty partisanship to do the right thing.

Is this a classic case of what many on the right carp about—that conservatives are depicted as having “grown” and “evolved” only when they move to the left?

In some ways, sure. But the story is more complicated than that, turning on a justice’s nuanced view of his role and that of the high court.

And while some conservatives are angry at Roberts—a few have even called him a traitor—the right-wing media have been remarkably restrained in reporting on the chief justice’s apostasy.

But make no mistake: much of the MSM is in gushing mode.

Ah, "nuanced view." Of course he can't make the case of media bias without undermining it, claiming it's "nuanced."

No, it's not. The media was writing apocalyptic stories about the Rogue Court and the evil Justice Roberts the day before the ruling; after the ruling, he's the greatest justice since Louis Brandeis.

There's no nuance there. To the extent there's "nuance," the media should still hate him if it were not a partisan institution, because he claimed what they said was an outrage: that the Commerce Clause has limits.

But they're partisan, so the important thing to them is Obama's Big Win.

Donald Trump calls a spade a spade:

It's a disaster and obviously it would have been better if it was knocked out, but Justice Roberts wanted to be loved by the Washington establishment. And by the way, he is now loved," Donald Trump said about Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts' decision to uphold the individual mandate in President Obama's health care reform bill.

"Because the way they're talking about him, it's unbelievable. So he is a beloved man to the liberals and to the Washington establishment," Trump added.

They'll always have this advantage -- the people whose Love counts for so goddamned much -- until we take the culture back.

Thanks to @rdbrewer4.


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posted by Ace at 03:57 PM

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