Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Weighing Roberts

Well, I've retreated a little bit from my wholehearted endorsement of Roberts, but I don't know that I would vote against him

As earlier analysis in the Times has allowed, it seems that Robert's judicial philosophy is somewhere between a Thomas/Bork/Scalia and a Renquist. He does not believe in a "general" right to privacy (a la Thomas/Bork), but he does believe, unlike Scalia, that the constitition can "evolve" to include modern concepts of morality and new technologies. That puts him somewhere between very and extremely conservative.

I certainly would never *endorse* someone of this temperment. I personally believe in the Kennedian approach of looking at universal (i.e., international) human values and in respecting precidents in social rights, which would argue for a general privacy right.

But I say that the question is this: does a President have the right to nominate someone of his own judicial philosophy, as long as that philosophy is not TOO far outside the mainstream? I would certainly want a Democratic president to be able to nominate someone with clear liberal views. Roberts, it seems to me, is just inside the line of being within the conservative mainstream. And I find his ability to reason and change his opinion (however obtuse it may be) reassuring. So - while I have more misgivings than before - if it were me, I would still vote to confirm.

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