Carol Platt Liebau: Just a "Goody Two Shoes"?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Just a "Goody Two Shoes"?

Examining John Roberts' cautious ambition, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick asserts that "Roberts is not a fan of broad strokes and big drama—not from the judiciary and not from himself." Hence, she concludes, he's not likely to be a Clarence Thomas -- part of a category of "men unafraid of tearing down centuries of constitutional scaffolding in order to impose their own theories of constitutional construction." (Incidentially, it would be interesting to have Ms. Lithwick explain just how revisiting some unjustifiable precedents from the last 70 years constitutes "tearing down centuries of constitutional scaffolding" -- especially when the USA has only been around a total of 229 years anyway.)

She may be right. The prudence that Judge Roberts has displayed in his climb to power may be reflective of his behavior once he's on the Court. But it's equally plausible that he may have been prudent during his climb to power so that he'd actually get to a place where the sharp (and often controversial) views set forth in his early memos could have maximum influence.


Blogger wile e coyote said...

The vandals who left legal edifaces built up over centuries of common law precedent a smoking ruin usually signed their work "Warren, CJ, Brennan, J, Douglas, J, and Traynor, CJ (Cal.)"

It is curious to me why the same people who want extensive environmental impact assessments perform over even minor development projects so cavalierly toss out centuries-(or millenia-)old rules and institutions. Why should we not show the same caution in changing our social and cultural environment as we show our physical environment? And if these rules and institutions are to be discarded, why should this not be done by the legislative branch, which has more appropriate analytical tools, more freedom in devising new rules, an easier time correcting mistakes and more social and political legitimacy?

11:11 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

So, what you are saying is that because Judge Roberts' political views are highly unpalatable it's a good thing he hid them. Conversely, once he's ensconced in his lifelong poistion on the Supreme Court, he can finally let the cat out of the bag.

That is a position to be proud of, Ms. Liebau. It also answers my two simple questions...

Why won't the Bush administration relase Judge Roberts' records? What are they hiding?

11:46 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Thankfully someone had come along to tear down down the legal precedent of Dred Scott.

7:06 AM  

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