Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice?

So far he sounds like a guy with a good mind who has spent a lifetime selling it to anyone who books time. I would actually think the right wing guys would be a bit alarmed by his willingness to provide legal advice to someone that merely reinforces their desire to do something, instead of providing legal advice based on whether or not act the person hiring him wants to do is a good idea. I thought that was the root objection to ambulance chasers and criminal defense lawyers. A the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the people of the country, all of them, are the ones booking time. The rest of his time, for life. Who is he going to be obliged to, a political cronie, or the American people? By not answering direct questions he has only made it clear he is for hire, with his logical analysis of a situation before the fact, that is before his client commits the act, focussed exclusively on justifying the client's intention. I am less impressed than I was expecting. Jim
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-16-2005, 10:21 PM
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I have to disagree re: John Roberts as Chief Justice...

Quote:
Who is he going to be obliged to, a political cronie, or the American people? By not answering direct questions he has only made it clear he is for hire...
With all due respect, I have read quite a bit about John Roberts and have watched several hours of the hearings; I've come away with the considered impression that Judge Roberts is a man possessed of great integrity and tremendous intellect (he certainly appeared to be the most intelligent person in the hearing room, and the Senators on the Judiciary Committee are not exactly mental midgets). The hearings -- if you take time to watch and consider them -- are a great primer on consitutional law and judicial responsibility. (FYI, CSPAN is rebroadcasting them in their entirety tomorrow (9/16) and Sunday (9/17) starting at 10AM ET.)

The Constitution provides that the President shall nominate and the nominee shall be confirmed on the advice and consent of the Senate. The standards are ability and integrity, not a particular philosophical bent. That the Democrats on the Committee are attacking Roberts so vociferiously reflects more their continuing distaste for Bush than anything else; Roberts has one of the keenest legal minds alive today and his integrity is beyond reproach.

The simple fact is that some of the questions being asked from both party senators are inappropriate for Roberts to answer -- and let's face it, to a great extent they are largely irrelevant. If a judge does HER/HIS JOB pursuant to the oath, then he/she will not apply their personal socio-political beliefs to the case before them. That's what judicial integrity is all about. His explanation of why he cannot answer their questions is one of the most sound I've ever heard, including the hearings for Justices Souter, Bader-Ginsburg and Thomas.

Simply put, unless one has a personal agenda, as a justice s/he cannot answer an question such as "how will you vote on abortion or death penalty issues?" It depends upon the valid precedents, the detailed facts of the case as it comes before the Court (sometimes a variation of that is called the totality of the circumstances) in light of those precedents, settled expectations, the briefs and arguments of counsel, and the judicial conferences between the judges/justices that hear the case. While we lay persons are often married to our opinions and biases and they often pervade our working lives, that is not the life of a judge -- or at least it isn't supposed to be. Saying what you would do in a case that hasn't even come before you is at best uninformed and ill-advised; at worst it is little more than a lie offered to placate the inquisitor and it may violate canons of judicial ethics. By not attempting to placate the agenda-laden bunch on the Committee he has made clear that he will do his best to keep an open mind and apply the laws of this Country. To me that's a welcome attitude and I'm relieved that Roberts doesn't have an agenda he's bringing to the Court.

Personally -- and without regard to the nominating president -- I like the idea of an intelligent, thoughtful Judge who will set aside his or her personal beliefs and focus his/her decisions on the Constitution and laws of these United States. Much better than a politically activist judge with an agenda, whether liberal or conservative in their own personal beliefs.

Lastly, from all I've seen in the hearings and read (and in answer to your question), John Roberts is plainly not "for hire" as a judge. As Chief Justice he would be obligated to NEITHER Bush NOR the American people. In fact, there is a third option. His obligation -- like that of any federal judge or justice -- is to SUPPORT AND DEFEND the United States Constitution and the laws of this Country. That's what the oath says, and if Roberts is lying, then he has fooled people far smarter than you and I. FYI, he took that oath when he was appointed to the federal appellate bench and nothing he has done since suggests anything to the contrary.

If you have time this weekend try and watch some of the hearings; they're enlightening, to say the least. If you have a high-speed connection CSPAN has lots of the hearings posted for viewing on their website, too.

Greg
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2005, 02:34 AM
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RE: Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice?

The "hearings" are simply a vehicle for Senators to hear themselves make speeches. I find I learn more bt listening than by talking. Yet these political hacks leave the room and give interviews as soon as their time before the cameras is over.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2005, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice?

My impression formed from listening on the radio, and hearing repeatedly that because a client at the time, whether it was President Reagan or another, sought a means to an end, that he complied and provided such a means through legal arguments does not reflect on his personal outlook on what was right or wrong. It was either an excuse put forward to make his prior writings on serious Constitutional interpretations that would clearly taint his "approvability" for the Chief Justice position, or it was an admission he views the legal system, and the Constitution as a tool box for a good mechanic, such as himself, to build arguments to justify any position.

Overall I agree, his job is to defend the Constitution. When I heard him justify a position that unless Congress includes specific words in their bills that allow citizens to sue the Government if the Government fails to enforce those bills, it is his belief that the Constitution does not provide for the right of citizens to sue the Government because it would be so easy for them to do so, I concluded he is not really interested in defending the Constitution and the spirit of those who wrote it. The Constitution is not written to enumerate all our rights as citizens. In fact the Constitution is intended to provide limits on the Government, not limits on the rights of the citizens. Unless such a course of action is specifically prohibited by the Constitution the perspective the authors was documented numerous times to be that the rights of the citizens prevail. He worries me. He justified his legal papers on very shakey positions by saying he was doing as he was told. As a Chief Justice, that is not a vital character trait. Jim
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2005, 11:41 AM
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RE: Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice?

What always amazed me is the blatant back stabbing of Scalia, and the far-right religious fascists don't even complain. Whenever Bush needed a vote, he dangled Scalia as Chief Justice in front of these kooks, and they rushed to the voting booth. In the end, Bush appoints this pro-business wonk who nobody has ever heard of to lead one of the three branches of our government. The Chief Justice is in many ways as powerful as the President, because he has control of the dockett - what cases will be heard and when they will be heard is greatly influenced by his say-so alone. Roberts is so mysterious and unknown, I figure he is another Manchurian candidate like Bush is - some guy programmed somewhere who was sent to destroy us.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2005, 11:46 AM
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RE: I have to disagree re: John Roberts as Chief Justice...

Quote:
gregs210 - 9/17/2005 12:21 AM

Quote:
Who is he going to be obliged to, a political cronie, or the American people? By not answering direct questions he has only made it clear he is for hire...
With all due respect, I have read quite a bit about John Roberts and have watched several hours of the hearings; I've come away with the considered impression that Judge Roberts is a man possessed of great integrity and tremendous intellect (he certainly appeared to be the most intelligent person in the hearing room, and the Senators on the Judiciary Committee are not exactly mental midgets). The hearings -- if you take time to watch and consider them -- are a great primer on consitutional law and judicial responsibility. (FYI, CSPAN is rebroadcasting them in their entirety tomorrow (9/16) and Sunday (9/17) starting at 10AM ET.)

The Constitution provides that the President shall nominate and the nominee shall be confirmed on the advice and consent of the Senate. The standards are ability and integrity, not a particular philosophical bent. That the Democrats on the Committee are attacking Roberts so vociferiously reflects more their continuing distaste for Bush than anything else; Roberts has one of the keenest legal minds alive today and his integrity is beyond reproach.

The simple fact is that some of the questions being asked from both party senators are inappropriate for Roberts to answer -- and let's face it, to a great extent they are largely irrelevant. If a judge does HER/HIS JOB pursuant to the oath, then he/she will not apply their personal socio-political beliefs to the case before them. That's what judicial integrity is all about. His explanation of why he cannot answer their questions is one of the most sound I've ever heard, including the hearings for Justices Souter, Bader-Ginsburg and Thomas.

Simply put, unless one has a personal agenda, as a justice s/he cannot answer an question such as "how will you vote on abortion or death penalty issues?" It depends upon the valid precedents, the detailed facts of the case as it comes before the Court (sometimes a variation of that is called the totality of the circumstances) in light of those precedents, settled expectations, the briefs and arguments of counsel, and the judicial conferences between the judges/justices that hear the case. While we lay persons are often married to our opinions and biases and they often pervade our working lives, that is not the life of a judge -- or at least it isn't supposed to be. Saying what you would do in a case that hasn't even come before you is at best uninformed and ill-advised; at worst it is little more than a lie offered to placate the inquisitor and it may violate canons of judicial ethics. By not attempting to placate the agenda-laden bunch on the Committee he has made clear that he will do his best to keep an open mind and apply the laws of this Country. To me that's a welcome attitude and I'm relieved that Roberts doesn't have an agenda he's bringing to the Court.

Personally -- and without regard to the nominating president -- I like the idea of an intelligent, thoughtful Judge who will set aside his or her personal beliefs and focus his/her decisions on the Constitution and laws of these United States. Much better than a politically activist judge with an agenda, whether liberal or conservative in their own personal beliefs.

Lastly, from all I've seen in the hearings and read (and in answer to your question), John Roberts is plainly not "for hire" as a judge. As Chief Justice he would be obligated to NEITHER Bush NOR the American people. In fact, there is a third option. His obligation -- like that of any federal judge or justice -- is to SUPPORT AND DEFEND the United States Constitution and the laws of this Country. That's what the oath says, and if Roberts is lying, then he has fooled people far smarter than you and I. FYI, he took that oath when he was appointed to the federal appellate bench and nothing he has done since suggests anything to the contrary.

If you have time this weekend try and watch some of the hearings; they're enlightening, to say the least. If you have a high-speed connection CSPAN has lots of the hearings posted for viewing on their website, too.

Greg
I dn't get your "democrats are attacking him vociferiously" comment, in fact I think you guys wish they were so you could make a bigger issue of it, to detract the country from the Republican debacle in New Orleans. So far, the dems are just going thru the motions, and are giving the guy a pass. Your other comment that " the standards are ability and integrity, not a particular philosophical bent." is completely ridiculous - the Senate can do whatever it wants, it can make the standard that he have the largest penis in the room, for all they want. The Constitution sets no "standard", and leaves it up to that branch of government to decide what it's standards are - philosophical, integrity or penis size, whatever. And the questions they are asking him are the same questions they always ask, and Roberts is giving them the same answers they always give. Nothing is new here, and Robert's confirmation will be routine. He replaces a conservative, and has no effect on the balance of the Court. The real fight will come when Ginsburg or another liberal is replaced with a conservative.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2005, 01:18 PM
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RE: I have to disagree re: John Roberts as Chief Justice...

Quote:
gregs210 - 9/16/2005 10:21 PM

The standards are ability and integrity, not a particular philosophical bent. That the Democrats on the Committee are attacking Roberts so vociferiously reflects more their continuing distaste for Bush than anything else; Roberts has one of the keenest legal minds alive today and his integrity is beyond reproach.

Greg
No question he's a smart guy, but his integrity is NOT beyond reproach.

Quote:
Even more troubling to civil libertarians has been Roberts’s readiness to cede almost total power to the President at a time of conflict, even a vaguely defined one like the indefinite “war on terror.�

In Roberts’s current job as a U.S. Appeals Court judge, he endorsed an extreme view of executive power claimed by the Bush administration, the right to designate anyone in the world an “enemy combatant� and thus deny these people basic legal protections under international or U.S. law.

On July 15, 2005, just four days before George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, Roberts ruled as part of a three-judge appeals court panel against judicial review for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a detainee in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

Hamdan was labeled an “enemy combatant� because he allegedly was the personal driver of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. While not accused of a specific crime against U.S. citizens, Hamdan, like all Guantanamo detainees, was denied access to U.S. courts and stripped of rights guaranteed to prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention of 1949.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2005/090605.html

No conflict of interest there....[8)]

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-17-2005, 05:00 PM
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RE: I have to disagree re: John Roberts as Chief Justice...

Quote:
old300D - 9/17/2005 3:18 PM

Quote:
gregs210 - 9/16/2005 10:21 PM

The standards are ability and integrity, not a particular philosophical bent. That the Democrats on the Committee are attacking Roberts so vociferiously reflects more their continuing distaste for Bush than anything else; Roberts has one of the keenest legal minds alive today and his integrity is beyond reproach.

Greg
No question he's a smart guy, but his integrity is NOT beyond reproach.

Quote:
Even more troubling to civil libertarians has been Roberts’s readiness to cede almost total power to the President at a time of conflict, even a vaguely defined one like the indefinite “war on terror.�

In Roberts’s current job as a U.S. Appeals Court judge, he endorsed an extreme view of executive power claimed by the Bush administration, the right to designate anyone in the world an “enemy combatant� and thus deny these people basic legal protections under international or U.S. law.

On July 15, 2005, just four days before George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court, Roberts ruled as part of a three-judge appeals court panel against judicial review for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a detainee in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

Hamdan was labeled an “enemy combatant� because he allegedly was the personal driver of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. While not accused of a specific crime against U.S. citizens, Hamdan, like all Guantanamo detainees, was denied access to U.S. courts and stripped of rights guaranteed to prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention of 1949.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2005/090605.html

No conflict of interest there....[8)]
We founded the Consortiumnews.com Web site in 1995, back in the "early days" of the modernÂ*Internet. The site was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories that weren't welcomeÂ*in the O.J. Simpson-obsessed, conventional-wisdom-drivenÂ*national news media of that time.




As one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s, I was distressed by the silliness and downright creepiness that had pervadedÂ*American journalism by the mid-1990s. I feared, too, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers.



Also by 1995, documents were emerging that put the history of the 1980s in a new – and more troubling – light. Yet, there were fewer and fewer media outlets interested in that history. The memories of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were enveloped in warm-and-fuzzy myths that represented another kind of danger: false history that could lead to mistaken political judgments in the future.



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Some of our articles reexamined important chapters of the 1980s (such as the “October Surprise� controversy from Election 1980 and evidence of Nicaraguan contra-cocaine trafficking). Other stories explored current crises (such as the War in Kosovo and the impeachment assault on President Bill Clinton).



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Interruption



By 1999 and early 2000, we were looking at the reemergence of the Bush family dynasty. However, as Campaign 2000 was heating up, we ran out of money. I was forced to make Consortiumnews.com a part-time enterprise and took an editing job at Bloomberg News. One of our last stories before that break describedÂ*how the news media was exaggerating Vice President Al Gore’s alleged exaggerations.



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In 2002, during the buildup to war in Iraq, we also picked up the pace, questioning the Bush administration's case about weapons of mass destruction and criticizing the flag-waving coverage from the mainstream news media. As the Iraq invasion was underway in March 2003, I consulted with some of my old military sources who recognized the disaster ahead. I entitled that articleÂ*"Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down."



Also in 2003, author Kevin Phillips cited the investigative work of Consortiumnews.com in his seminal book on the Bush family,Â*American Dynasty. Phillips took note of our investigative series that examinedÂ*the elder George Bush's role in alleged Republican dirty tricks during the 1980 campaign.



Resumption



To flesh out more parts of the Bush family's rise to power, I left Bloomberg News in April 2004 and began work on my fourth book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq. It was publishedÂ*in late September 2004.



In fall 2004, we also resumed more frequent publication of stories at Consortiumnews.com. One of those articles described John Kerry's pioneering investigation of contra-drug trafficking in the late 1980s. Since Nov. 2, weÂ*have written about the controversies surrounding Election 2004 and the political danger created by today’s media imbalance in the United States.



Indeed, a founding idea of the Consortium for Independent Journalism was that a major investment was needed in journalistic endeavors committed to honestly informing the American people about important events, no matter what the political and economic pressures.



While we are proud of the journalistic contribution that this Web site has made over the past decade – and while we are deeply grateful to our readers whose contributions have kept us afloat – we also must admit that we have not made the case well enough that this mission is a vital one.



Despite all that’s happened, including the ongoing disaster in Iraq, many people still don’t understand that the fight for honest information is a battle for the future of American democracy.






Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His new book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at Amazon.com, as is his 1999 book, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth.'
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-18-2005, 11:18 PM
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RE: Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice?

You are a clever resourceful guy, Bot. Why don't you just argue the fact? Oh, you can't. Typical neo-con tactic, smear the source, I'm sure they just made it up. [8)]

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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-19-2005, 06:53 AM
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RE: Roberts - Sounds like a good lawyer for a guilty criminal, but as a Supreme Court Chief Justice?

That wasn't an argument. That was background information. I copied that from the source's web page. Don't you like to know where "facts" come from? I do.

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