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Did Roberts step in it with Kennedy?

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posted on Sep, 16 2005 @ 02:13 PM
First of all I have to admit that I haven't followed the Roberts confirmation hearing as closely as I wish I could. I've got a pretty full schedule at school so I spend a lot of time reading stuff that already happened as opposed to stuff that -is- happening.

Anyway, I did catch a little exchange between Kennedy and Roberts on affirmative action. Kennedy cleverly phrased a question about affirmative action as a question as to whether or not considering the military's testimony as to the practicality or necessity of racial diversity was worthy of consideration in the two Bollinger cases in which the SCOTUS struck down racial quotas in university admissions but upheld consideration of racial background as a factor in admissions.

Roberts acknowledged that the testimony showed a compelling interest for the government in creating racial diversity, implying support for the decisions.

Here's the problem. If Roberts were to be cornered into a question about gay rights or affirmative action where similiar expert testimony (not necessarily from the military) about the necessity of something was extremely strong, but Roberts did not find the testimony compelling, or even if he so much as refused to consider it decisive, there come the charges of hypocrisy.

It probably wont do much to hurt him, but I felt like Roberts walked into an expertly laid trap there and that failure to stay vague on similiar issues for the rest of the hearing could allow that to come back and bite him hard.

I also believe that he's setting himself up to be a controversial figure down the road if he should later rule in contradiction to that answer. Roberts is being appointed by a very controversial president, he is very young, the court is threatening to shift slightly further to the right, and there is reason to believe that the democrats will be coming to power in the senate and whitehouse again shortly. With American politics in the dirty state that they've come to, you've got to wonder if Roberts just might live to be the first Supreme Court Justice ever impeached if he should prove too controversial. Unlikely I know, but I have a tendency to muse over unlikely possibilities- and every once in a while I get lucky and it makes me look clairvoyant.


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