Debra J. Saunders

It looks as if all the interest groups and nattering nabobs outside the White House have conspired to make placing his first U.S. Supreme Court nominee on the bench really easy for President Bush.

 The Left certainly has done its part.

 For five years, Senate Democrats on the far left have hurled invectives at hot-button conservatives -- especially female and minority judges. They've only got so much mud left -- and they can't afford to waste it.

 Nonetheless, they will hurl more at Bush nominee John G. Roberts Jr. and waste it. It's the only play they know. quickly dismissed Roberts as a "right-wing lawyer and corporate lobbyist" who should not be confirmed. That's the best that they can do: Attack Roberts for being conservative and working for a D.C. law firm.

 Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal was reduced to complaining that she is "dismayed" Bush nominated a man and demanding that the Senate not confirm Roberts unless he promises not to overturn Roe v Wade.

 Push that line, and the White House can push back. Abortion rights' advocates want more than support for Roe -- they want a pledge to find that the U.S. Constitution reserves the right for 15-year-olds to get abortions behind their parents' backs. They will find little mainstream support for that position.

 Senate moderates cinched the Roberts nomination in May. That's when the so-called Gang of 14 -- seven GOP and seven Democratic senators -- announced that they would not go along with judicial filibusters -- which had stalled Bush nominee Priscilla Owens for four years. They promised to engage in this stalling tactic -- that prevents a full vote on a nominee -- only under "extraordinary circumstances."

 Translation: They will vote for a solid conservative who is not overly ideological.

 And here he is. The Legal Times' Stuart Taylor described Roberts as "a good bet to be the kind of judge we should all want to have -- all of us, that is, who are looking less for congenial ideologues than for professionals committed to impartial application of the law. If the Senate buries Roberts -- again -- it would be an outrage." Taylor wrote those words in 2002, when Bush was a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals. The Senate did bury Roberts again by preventing a Senate vote, just as they buried Roberts after President George H.W. Bush nominated him in 1992. In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Roberts -- and the Senate finally confirmed him unanimously.

 If not one Democrat objected to Roberts two years ago, how can the Dems filibuster now?

Debra J. Saunders

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