John Roberts - I love Roe v. Wade
At the largely pointless John Roberts confirmation hearings, Roberts once again showed why Democrats should be embracing him, rather than working futilely to derail his certain appointment. The WaPo reports:
John G. Roberts Jr., appearing before a Senate panel considering his nomination to be the new chief justice, immediately ran into questioning today about the Supreme Court's landmark decision on abortion and said he considers it not only "settled law" but a precedent worthy of respect.
Daily Kos points out that the uber-Republican Justice Thomas said something similar at his hearing, and it's an interesting point. I would say that it is impossible to know how Roberts will vote on Roe v. Wade until he hears a case challenging it. But again, Roberts is not a partisan scumbag at the level of Thomas or even Scalia; he is a decent compromise for the Dems. He doesn't have the power to overturn Roe v. Wade anyway, thanks to Kennedy. And the most politically effective move for the Dems would be to loudly celebrate Roberts' relative moderation and shakiness on gays and abortion in an attempt to point out to social conservative voters that the Holy Party of George Bush is using them, and that Bush has no strong inclination to see Roe v. Wade, the Republicans' political golden goose, overturned. If he had, he would have nominated a reliable abortion foe like Emilio Garza or Michael McConnell.
This would be an especially good point for the Dems to make in case Bush is actually stupid enough to nominate Atty. Gen. Gonzales to replace Rehnquist; my prediction is he'll nominate either Garza or Edith Brown Clement. Or perhaps the spectacularly unqualified Larry Thompson, just to make the Democrats reject an African-American candidate, thus possibly endearing Bush to the black community after New Orleans. My money is on Clement.