Democrats Content With No One

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is rolling the political dice - and in my opinion screwing his party over - by coming out in opposition to the appointment of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court.

If many Democrats join Reid in opposing this likable and well-qualified candidate, Republicans will be able to make the case that any nominee put forth by President Bush would be opposed, therefore it wouldn't matter who he nominates next; including a solid originalist like the feared Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owen.

And with everyone on both sides of the aisle clamoring for Bush to replace a woman with a woman, Brown and Owen are perfect choices to fill the spot while at the same time providing an additional bonus for conservatives looking for the president to tilt the Supreme Court (probably drastically) to the right.

Many political scientists and court observers believe Roberts will have no noticeable impact on the bench, as he's a conservative replacing a conservative. In fact, if he plans to uphold Roe v. Wade then the elevation of Roberts will be a move to the left, hardly something we expected from the man who promised to nominate someone in the mold of Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia.

With every branch of the federal government in Republican hands, Democrats don't have a lot of negotiating room, and would score a major victory if an anti-Roe judge was replaced with one who would uphold the precedent. Such a case would mean three liberal justices would have to resign for there to even be a slight chance for a Roe v. Wade reversal in the near future.

Democrats claim they're "sending a message" to the president by giving Roberts a hard time, saying that this tough battle only means a tougher one for a more controversial choice that conservatives are desperately pleading for.

I won't be surprised if Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin and the rest of the hard-left in the Senate vote "no" on Roberts, but it dilute whatever legitimacy they have in the future when they take the same action against a true conservative who's just around the corner.