The Left is moving to oppose John Roberts’s nomination
while the moderate Democrats have indicated a filibuster is
unlikely. The developing attitude seems to be that as little is
known about Roberts, he’s likely to be extensively interrogated at the
hearings. His attitude to abortion will certainly be

MoveOn, the major Left umbrella
organisation, was quick to launch a campaign of opposition. It says on its
website: “In nominating John Roberts, the president has chosen a right wing
corporate lawyer and ideologue for the nation’s highest court instead of a judge
who would protect the rights of the American people… He wrote that Roe v
Wade should be ‘overruled,’ and as a lawyer argued (and won) the case that
stopped some doctors from even discussing abortion. That’s why we believe the
Senate must not confirm right-wing corporate lawyer John Roberts to the Supreme

Yesterday Wayne Sanderson accused me of a number of (what he called)
errors in my previous report on Roberts. All the matters he raised are
really just a matter of opinion. I come from the Right and he comes
from the Left so we will always see things differently. I think that
all US presidents have said a Supreme Court nomination was their
“greatest mistake” at one time or another – Bush Sr. said Souter was
his greatest mistake. Or maybe it is just an urban myth. I wouldn’t
worry too much about it – the point is that O’Connor was a great
disappointment to those who appointed her.

My comments about the speculation concerning the
appointment were accurate – Gonzales was ruled out some time ago. I tipped
wrongly – that’s hardly an error.

Left-liberal is my phrase and I stick to it. My belief is that Roberts will
not support Roe v Wade – but time will tell.

I’ll take the wager suggested by Sanderson that
the confirmation hearings will be torrid – winner pays $100 to
the Salvation Army. The whole point of my article is that
the “neo-soc” (read liberal) establishment in America is faced with losing control
of the USSC. The Democrats cannot win at the ballot box so they must retain
control of the Court – so they will fight. Next, CJ Rehnquist will resign and we
will go through it all again. For me, Antonin Scalia for CJ – or is that
another error?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey