Reason or "surrender"?
To fair-minded folks, the announcements that Senators Linoln Chafee (moderate Republican) and Leahy (feisty Democrat) will vote in favor of confirming John Roberts as chief justice was quite welcome news. As seen by the increasingly strident leftist blog dailykos.com, however, it was regarded as "surrender." (Head blogger "Comandante" Markos recently declared war on the Democratic Leadership Council.) Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne based his "Case for a 'No' Vote on Roberts" on the simple lack of information submitted by the White House. "If senators simply vote 'yes' on Roberts, they will be conceding to the executive branch huge power to control what information the public gets and doesn't get about nominees to life positions." Hogwash. If the Senate doesn't feel they have sufficient information on a prospective judge or Supreme Court justice, all they need to do is vote "no." Simple! After watching the Democrats scrounge for any kind of dirt on John Roberts, I'm convinced they wasted their effort and have further strained their credibility. If in the 22nd Century some scientist devises a robot to serve as judge, it will very likely be modeled on the almost-too-perfect Chief Justice Roberts.
Now the question is, Who will be nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor? Even as he has stumbled in other policy areas recently, when it comes to the judiciary, President Bush has put himself in an excellent position to put forward a genuinely solid conservative. Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy suggests Michael McConnell of the Tenth U.S. Circuit Appeals Court.