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Monday, September 05, 2005 

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts has been tapped to replace the late Rehnquist as Supreme Court Chief Justice. Sandra Day O'Connor will stay on until a replacement for her seat can be appointed and affirmed.

Will such a move make for a more conservative Court?

"It's too early to tell. Some people believe that Roberts may be similar to Rehnquist in his jurisprudence, although that's not at all clear yet," says Carl Tobias, a constitutional law professor at the University of Richmond Law School.

Before I suggest some hypothetical, lets cover our groundwork. We just don't know enough or a lot about Roberts until he votes a bit on some controversial cases. This may be hard for some to hear, at least since all the conservatives that I hear have non-sexual crushes on G.W. Bush, which means they simply cannot admit that he could ever do wrong. They simply must argue for his every act of righteousness, and gloss over any misdeed.

This is, to me, ludicrous. The only man I will ever happily vote into office is Jesus Christ. Everyone else is just a lesser of two evils and a let down. Don't question this; I voted for the W twice, but not for a minute do I think he hasn't made terrible mistakes (and most of them don't have to do with Iraqian situations).

So thus far, all I can tell from the appointment of John Roberts (which isn't much, by the way) is that this is a man under the radar that Bush meant to surprise everyone with. For every ultra-conservative note there is the story of supporting gay rights. With every Rehnquist internship there is feminist support. I heard some radio voice intone something to the effect of: remember, Bush has always promised Roberts in the mold of Rehnquist, not Scalia. He may be conservative... and he may be.

So back to our hypothetical. Suppose Roberts succeeds Rehnquist as Chief Justice. This leaves us with our replacement for O'Connor. How will Bush go on this seat? More conservative? More liberal? Similar to Roberts? Personal favor?

My guess is a combination of the latter two: Bush will fulfill a personal favor and find someone like Roberts that is going to be difficult to get any dirt on; no matter what color dirt is to you. So how will that leave the court? My guess is only slightly more conservative. You won't have the glaring pendulum swings that was characteristic of Sandra Day O'Connor, and instead you will have slightly more conservative votes. However, both Roberts and perhaps the new appointee may follow less than ideal moves if certain components are present. Though the disappointments may be less extreme, and fewer, the disappointments to a small-government, morally conservative, states-rights Constitutionalist will definitely be there.


Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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