If you haven’t already signed up to adopt a box of virtual documents from Judge John Roberts’ White House years (1982-1986) perhaps this morning’s Washington Post story will inspire you to sign up via an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Duane at email@example.com. (Duane is assigning the virtual boxes over at Radioblogger.com)
The Post’s headline baldly states that “In 1980s, Roberts Criticized The Court He Hopes to Join,” and goes on to imply that a past critic of the Court is a hypocrite when he praises the institution:
When John G. Roberts Jr. accepted President Bush’s nomination to the Supreme Court last month, he spoke with awe about the high court. He had argued 39 cases before the justices, but he said he “always got a lump in my throat whenever I walked up those marble steps.”
Two decades earlier though, as a young lawyer in the Reagan administration, Roberts expressed less reverential comments, repeatedly arguing that the high court was interfering in issues best left to Congress. He even wrote approvingly of an effort to term-limit federal judges instead of giving them lifetime appointments, so they “would not lose all touch with reality through decades of ivory tower existence.
The federal judiciary today benefits from an insulation from political pressure even as it usurps the role of the political branches,” he wrote his boss, White House counsel Fred F. Fielding, on Oct. 3, 1983.
Unless the Post wants to argue that reverence for the presidency as an institution is inconsistent with criticism of its present occupant, then this is an absurd and wholly biased piece of “reporting.” There is nothing at all inconsistent with honoring an institution and critiquing its present course. If there was a problem with such a course, then every tenured feminist at Harvard University that has blasted President Summers would have to resign her post.
The article never comes out and directly accuses Roberts of hypocrisy, but only a card-carrying member of the MSM would be blind to the charge.
This is an example of why those who are complacent about the Roberts’ nomination ought to shake off the summer-induced naps and get back in the game. The left isn’t going to give up O’Connor’s seat without a knock-down, and their allies within the MSM are going to do their best to provide them with headlines that serve the cause of defeating Roberts.