Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 26, 2005 / 19 Tammuz, 5765

Let Judge Roberts answer the questions

By David Limbaugh


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I may be going against the conservative grain here, but I am not as bothered by the prospect of questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members seeking to determine how John Roberts' judicial philosophy might guide him in considering certain specific questions of constitutional law, including abortion.

I certainly agree that judicial nominees should not telegraph how they intend to vote on a particular case that is either before or on its way to the Court, but I think both sides have used this more as an excuse to shield their respective nominees.

There are limited other ways to determine a nominee's judicial philosophy: anecdotal evidence, written opinions or briefs, and scholarly legal writings. Where Judge Roberts is concerned, there is a dearth of available information in most of these areas.

Even in the case of a judge who has authored a voluminous library of opinions, we may not glean all we need to know about his judicial philosophy specific to the Supreme Court in that, by definition, he will not yet have served on the high court.

Judge Roberts, as fate would have it, has expressed his opinion that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, but he did so, as but one member of an appellate advocacy team in the process of zealously representing a client.

To further cloud the issue, he told senators during his 2003 confirmation hearing that Roe was "the settled law of the land" and "there's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."

Given that he was being considered for a position on a lower court, not the Supreme Court, all we can infer from his statement is that he was simply reciting the truism that even originalist judges on lower courts are honor bound to follow Supreme Court precedent. It doesn't tell us whether he believes the Supreme Court is also hamstrung by its own "settled" precedent in Roe.

Thus, I think it's appropriate for senators to inquire into the nominee's general judicial philosophy, such as the Court's proper role in the constitutional separation of powers framework, and his views on specific constitutional provisions and issues.

To me, there is nothing wrong with asking Judge Roberts, "Do you believe the Court should see itself as result-oriented: establishing rights and remedies to address perceived wrongs, even if there is no reasonable constitutional authority to do so? Or do you believe, as you seemed to reveal in the now famous French fry case, that the judiciary should be passive and that no matter how great the perceived injustice the Court must not intervene to correct it in the absence of a sound constitutional basis for doing so?"

And, I think it's even proper for the follow-up questions to penetrate with greater specificity, such as asking whether the Court has overstepped its bounds in particular areas, like abortion, the Commerce Clause and the incorporation doctrine (making federal constitutional rights applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause).

I realize that we're treading on delicate ground here. These issues, if not presently before the Court, inevitably will be in one form or another in the near future, and we don't want judges or judges in waiting to prejudge specific cases. But I would err on the side of trying to discover a nominee's judicial philosophy, being careful not to have him opine on specific cases.

After all, revealing a nominee's philosophy regarding these issues does not necessarily answer, conclusively, how he would rule in the context of a specific case before him, considering the many variables that might be involved.

I think we must try to find out in advance whether Supreme Court nominees believe they will sit as part of a superlegislature or as a passive, albeit usually final, arbiter.

I personally believe Judge Roberts is a political and ideological conservative. (His stated opinion that the Rehnquist Court has not been completely conservative would not likely have been uttered by a political liberal.)

I'm also convinced he is a rigorously strict constructionist, believing the Court should interpret law according to its textual and otherwise reasonably ascertainable meaning. I'm not sure to what extent he is an originalist, since he seemed to indicate his judicial philosophy cannot be neatly categorized, but I would bet that he'll try to defer to the Framers' original intent when possible.

Donate to JWR


I further suspect Roberts has a healthy reverence for the doctrine of stare decisis and that even the Supreme Court must give great weight to its own "established" precedent.

It seems to me that stare decisis and strict constructionism may well be on a collision course in many of the controversial constitutional areas likely soon to be revisited by the Court: abortion, same-sex marriage, Commerce Clause, Due Process incorporation issues, and the Tenth Amendment, to name a few.

I'm all for finding out what Roberts thinks about these competing forces in constitutional law and where he might come down on them — apart from the context of actual cases. Conservatives, who occupy the high ground on the issue of the proper constitutional role of judges, should want to have this fight out in the open.

But alas I seriously doubt we'll find much out about these things until Judge Roberts is confirmed, which I believe he will be, and begins voting and delivering his written opinions.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of, most recently, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.

Archives

© 2005, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles