By now everyone knows, of course. Heres an article from February about Roberts from law.com:
Yet those who know Roberts say he, unlike Souter, is a
reliable conservative who can be counted on to undermine if not
immediately overturn liberal landmarks like abortion rights and
affirmative action. Indicators of his true stripes cited by friends
include: clerking for Rehnquist, membership in the Federalist Society,
laboring in the Ronald Reagan White House counsels office and at the
Justice Department into the Bush years, working with Kenneth Starr
among others, and even his lunchtime conversations at Hogan &
Hartson. He is as conservative as you can get, one friend puts it. In
short, Roberts may combine the stealth appeal of Souter with the
unwavering ideology of Scalia and Thomas.
But this take on Roberts puts some of his biggest boosters in
a quandary. They praise Roberts as a brilliant, fair-minded lawyer with
a perfect judicial temperament. But can that image as an open-minded
jurist co-exist with also being viewed as a predictable conservative?
Florida personal injury lawyer Dean Colson of Colson Hicks
Eidson in Coral Gables, who has known Roberts since they clerked for
Rehnquist together in 1980, side-steps the question.
Colson calls Roberts the smartest lawyer in America, someone
who will approach the cases with an intellectual viewpoint. I dont
view him as having an agenda to promote.
But does that mean conservatives cant count on Roberts? I
dont know the answer as to how he would vote on specific issues, says
Colson. I would never ask him, and I hope he never tells anybody what
he would do.
Mark Levin, author of Men in Black, a new conservative
critique of the Supreme Court, sees no conflict and is a fan of
Roberts. In the short period he has been on the court, John Roberts
has shown he does not bring a personal agenda to his work. He follows
the Constitution, and he is excellent.
E. Barrett Prettyman Jr., a longtime Roberts fan and lifelong
Democrat who worked with him for years at Hogan, says that if anyone
can be both judicious and predictable, Roberts can.
He respects the Court greatly, and would not ignore
precedent, says Prettyman. But if theres a loophole or a
distinguishing factor, hed find it.
An article from (his alma mater) Harvard Universitys Harvard Crimson:
Many in Washington speculate that Roberts may be a good
choice if Bush wants to avoid a confirmation fight. The New York Times
reported last week that members of both parties raised Roberts name in
a favorable light.
A roundup of some of his previous decisions at Free Congress Foundations Judicial Selection Monitoring Project
From the Committee for Justice, a press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 19, 2005
CFJ Congratulates President on Roberts Nomination
WASHINGTON, DC - The Committee for Justice, which promotes
constitutionalist judicial nominees, today congratulated President Bush
on nominating Judge John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court and called
on the Senate to confirm him without delay.
John Roberts has had one of the most distinguished legal
careers in modern times, CFJ Chairman C. Boyden Gray said. His
outstanding education and career, high character, and faithfulness to
the Constitution make him an excellent fit for the court at this
moment. His nomination is a solid first step towards returning the
federal judiciary to its proper role in our system.
Before becoming a judge on the powerful Court of Appeals for
the DC Circuit, Roberts was possibly the finest appellate lawyer in the
nation, arguing 39 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. After
graduating with honors from Harvard undergraduate and law school,
Roberts clerked for Second Circuit Judge Henry Friendly and Associate
Justice William Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court. He served as
Associate White House Counsel, and as Principal Deputy Solicitor
General. Roberts is 50, married with two children, and a Roman
While we know liberal senators will resort to hyperbole
against Judge Roberts, we call on moderate and red state Democratic
senators such as Ben Nelson (Neb.), Joe Lieberman (Conn.), and Mark
Pryor (Ark.) to ensure a fair and respectful confirmation process,
Gray added. It seems to us that a justice who will not use his power
to redefine traditional marriage, strike under God from the Pledge of
Allegiance, and undermine private property rights is well within the
mainstream of American public opinion and legal thought.
C. Boyden Gray was White House Counsel to the first President Bush.
To see more from the blogosphere about the Roberts nomination, N.Z. Bear has an aggregator.
See also: Bench Memos at NRO
The SCOTUS Nomination blog has Selected Opinions by Judge Roberts and Elsewhere on the Information Superhighway.
[Cross-posted from MY VRWC]