Saturday, July 30, 2005

Roberts Document Dump

We have some misgivings about the wisdom of releasing the 75,000 pages of Judge Roberts' writings. For one thing, it increases the "ore" that the Left can mine for quotes out of context that may do some damage. However, the more serious issue is that is will make it harder to defend the failure to release other documents. As all living, former Solicitor Generals realized in defending the confidentiality of legal advice: if the president is going to receive good advice in the future, those giving the advice need to know it will remain private.

On the plus side, it was amusing to see the rejectionists immediately insisting 75,000 pages wasn't nearly enough. Hilary said she "wants to see more" documents. If she spent one minute per page on the current batch, it would take her over 156 8-hr days to review them all.

Meanwhile, conservatives worried that Judge Roberts might turn out to be another David Souter have to be breathing easier:
OpinionJournal - The Next Justice: "What a relief. Judge Roberts's writings as a young lawyer show him to be a solid constitutionalist.

Beyond the attributes of character, temperament and credentials, George Washington singled out one criterion for the first Supreme Court justices: that they support the 'new' Constitution. Powerful voices like Thomas Jefferson, who, lucky for us, was in Paris during the Constitutional Convention, would have drafted and interpreted the Constitution quite differently than the Federalists whom Washington picked for the high court. Adherence to the Constitution matters no less now.

George Washington would have been happy with John Roberts. Of the documents released this week, my favorite is his response to the House Democrat who proposed that the White House and Congress hold a 'conference on power-sharing' to iron out the duties of each branch. Said then-Mr. Roberts: 'There already has, of course, been a 'Conference on Power Sharing. It took place in Philadelphia's Constitution Hall in 1787, and someone should tell [Congressman] Levitas about it and the 'report' it issued.' If this is an indication of the nominee's wit and clear-headedness, move over Scalia."

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