In 2005, prescient Ann Coulter warned that stealth SCOTUS nominees often disappoint. Hubby and I were discussing Roberts last night and I made the lame point that Roberts’ past history was known and the conservative nominating president and the conservative members of Congress should know and understand that history. We know how that has worked out. G.W. wasn’t that conservative in many areas, and we routinely have to bloody Congress to remind them of their constitutional duty to always vote for limited government. Coulter’s point on the rarified-air of arguing before SCOTUS:
We also know he’s argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney. ~ Ann Coulter (source: BuzzFeed)
In the Roberts confirmation hearings, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the goal was to:
…allow G.W. Bush to “fulfill his campaign promise to appoint a well-qualified, strict constructionist to the Supreme Court and…to appoint a Chief Justice in the mold of Justice Rehnquist.”…
He has not hidden from the public what his view of a Supreme Court justice should be and the philosophy that they should embrace.
In my opinion, by picking you, he has lived up to his end of the bargain with the American people by choosing a well-qualified, strict constructionist.
You have been described as brilliant, talented and well- qualified, and that’s by Democrats. ~ Lindsey Graham
Certainly a worthy goal, but missed by a mile, apparently. William Rehnquist was a federalist. The ObamaCare SCOTUS dissenters made it clear that federalism has been dealt a sever blow. Roberts was originally nominated to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Upon Rehnquist’s death, Bush moved the Roberts nomination to Chief Justice. Samuel Alito replaced O’Conner. About Rehnquist, John Roberts wrote an ‘In Memoriam’ in the Harvard Law Review:
[Rehnquist was] “direct, straightforward, utterly without pretense – and a patriot who loved and served his country. He was completely unaffected in manner.”
Graham also quoted a professor who wrote that Court nominations, as the Constitution is written, are presumed to work to the favor of the nominating president. Perhaps that’s why Graham, without any revealed angst, voted yea for both Kagen and Sotomayor to have a lifetime seat on the bench.
Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states, in part: “[The President] shall have power, . . . , by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, . . . [to] appoint . . . judges of the Supreme Court . . . .”
I don’t see a ‘presumption.’ Do you? This is why elections matter. Supreme Court Justices are nominated for life. Eight more years of Obama and the Constitution will be even more just a distant, fond memory.