So all we know about him for sure is that he can't dance and he probably doesn't know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah ... we also know he's argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt's attorney.
But unfortunately, other than that that, we don't know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.
Since the announcement, court-watchers have been like the old Kremlinologists from Soviet days looking for clues as to what kind of justice Roberts will be. Will he let us vote?
Does he live in a small, rough-hewn cabin in the woods of New Hampshire and avoid "women folk"?
Does he trust democracy? Or will he make all the important decisions for us and call them "constitutional rights."
It means absolutely nothing that NARAL and Planned Parenthood attack him: They also attacked Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Hackett Souter.
The only way a Supreme Court nominee could win the approval of NARAL and Planned Parenthood would be to actually perform an abortion during his confirmation hearing, live, on camera, and preferably a partial birth one.
It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:
"In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as deputy solicitor general for a portion of the 1992-93 term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States."
This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.'s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying, "Hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job."
And it makes no difference that conservatives in the White House are assuring us Roberts can be trusted. We got the exact same assurances from officials working for the last president Bush about David Hackett Souter.
I believe their exact words were, "Read our lips; Souter's a reliable conservative."
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