Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Code Words

The Washington Post's editorial on Roberts doesn't concede much, except that the judge is "a man of substance and seriousness." That's in the first sentence. When the compliment is up top, you always know there's a "but" coming down the way.

The Post for some reason believes that the Roberts nomination will not "proceed without controversy." And--here's the best bit of code:
His confirmation hearings offer the Senate the opportunity to probe whether his evident reticence and caution would translate into a restrained jurisprudence that respects the stability of precedent.

I wonder about which precedents the Post is concerned? I mean, do you have any idea, any clue?


Anonymous said...

Stability of precedents...Ha! If we always fell back on that, Dred Scott would still be the law of the land...some decisions are wrong

LargeBill said...

I usually disagree with Anonymous so maybe this is an imposter. :-)

Seriously, the point about Dred Scott and many other previous SCOTUS decisions (Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe v. Wade) demonstrating the justices are not infalible. They are people and they make mistakes. We wouldn't need the courts if former precedent ruled over future considerations.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I thought that the declarations of the Court were "as if God had spoken"? Fallible? The justices? Really?

Anonymous said...

Dred Scott was overturned by the 13th-15th amendments and not by the court. So no matter what the court said (unless it tried a judicial usurpation that even Warren or Blackman would balk at) it had no choice on Dred Scott. Same with the income tax which it struck down under the original constitution (ok maybe this amendment process isn't an unmitigated good!)The question is can we get rid of bad, unconstitutional decisions like, oh I don't know, whatever the Wash. Post was alluding to without a civil war and constitutional amendments?