Supreme Court nominee: John G. Roberts Jr.

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  • #51
SOS2008
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McGyver said:
Though it appears Roberts' abortion views may be that which tips the scales to/for his approval to the Supreme Court. My sources indicate his biggest liability may be his untra-conservative views in regards to corporate business and employment.
I agree, and have mentioned this as well, because this is what Bush is all about.
Informal Logic said:
This is what has been being preached by the right wing fundamentalists, and was repeated in the "Justice Sunday II" BS.
They complain that the court has become activist, but what they really mean is they want the court to be activist in advancing their partisan agenda of a few. Then it's okay to be activist, don't you know. :bugeye:
 
  • #52
Skyhunter
The more I learn about this guy the less I like him.

Democrats have devoted plenty of attention to scouring John Roberts's record. Yet to date they've paid surprisingly little attention to his support for perhaps the oddest legacy of the Rehnquist Court: its unprecedented expansion of the "sovereign immunity" doctrine to greatly restrict the ability of private citizens to obtain money from states that violate their federal rights. Raising the issue at next week's Senate confirmation hearings won't, of course, sink Roberts's nomination. But it just might give Democrats a rare opportunity to claim the mantle of anti-government reform at a time when the whole nation will be watching.

The Court's recent expansion of sovereign immunity, rooted in the dubious English common-law notion that "the King can do no wrong," has given states a virtual license to break the law with impunity. Thanks to the Court, you're out of luck if you try to sue a state for money when, in violation of federal law, it fires you because you're too old, demotes you because you have breast cancer, refuses to accommodate your disability at work, stiffs you on overtime pay, rips off your patent, or plagiarizes your copyright. The state technically still isn't allowed to do these things--you can get a court order telling it to stop, and, in the employment context, rehire you, assuming you still want the job. What you cannot do, however, is get the state to provide back pay if it wrongly fired you or damages if it stole your intellectual property. In other words, the state can violate federal law unless and until it gets caught, at which point it pays no price for its prior lawbreaking. It's like telling a car thief that he can keep your Honda, but he mustn't steal your Chevy.

What does Roberts think about this? In a 1999 interview with National Public Radio, Roberts lavished praise upon three sovereign immunity decisions handed down the previous day, describing them as a "big deal" and a "healthy reminder" that "we still live under a federal system" in which "states as co-equal sovereigns have their own sovereign powers." Roberts explained that "just because Congress has the power to tell individuals and companies that this is what you're going to do, and if you don't do it, people can sue you, that doesn't mean they can treat the states the same way."
 
  • #53
loseyourname
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Orff v. United States, decided on June 23rd of this year, was the latest Supreme Court ruling upholding sovereign immunity. Given that the decision of the court was unanimous, I'm not sure how exactly this sets Roberts apart from any other justice. Granted, the far more controversial Alden v. Maine case from 1999, which is probably the one Roberts was referring to in that NPR interview (ironically, also decided on June 23rd of that year) was ruled only 5 to 4. It is worth noting, however, that Sandra Day O'Connor was one of the majority justices that ruled in favor of sovereign immunity in that and the two other major cases from that year. In that sense, appointing Roberts isn't going to change anything.

I have to wonder how widely applicable this sovereign immunity thing is, though. When I worked on the Census in 2000, the workers successfully sued the government for failing to pay overtime wages.
 
  • #54
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
Orff v. United States, decided on June 23rd of this year, was the latest Supreme Court ruling upholding sovereign immunity. Given that the decision of the court was unanimous, I'm not sure how exactly this sets Roberts apart from any other justice. Granted, the far more controversial Alden v. Maine case from 1999, which is probably the one Roberts was referring to in that NPR interview (ironically, also decided on June 23rd of that year) was ruled only 5 to 4. It is worth noting, however, that Sandra Day O'Connor was one of the majority justices that ruled in favor of sovereign immunity in that and the two other major cases from that year. In that sense, appointing Roberts isn't going to change anything.

I have to wonder how widely applicable this sovereign immunity thing is, though. When I worked on the Census in 2000, the workers successfully sued the government for failing to pay overtime wages.
Good point. I hadn't done a lot of research into sovereign immunity. My thoughts were that when combined with imminent domain, we are screwed.

If you recall, what was the judgement?
 
  • #55
loseyourname
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Skyhunter said:
Good point. I hadn't done a lot of research into sovereign immunity. My thoughts were that when combined with imminent domain, we are screwed.

If you recall, what was the judgement?
If you're talking about the Census case, I don't actually remember, as I wasn't involved in the case. I just remember receiving notice that settlement had been reached and that if I had been screwed on overtime, I was eligible to receive money. I never worked any overtime for them, however, so I just threw the letter away. The letter was from the state, though, with the seal and everything, so I don't think it was bogus.

Yeah, things like sovereign immunity and imminent domain are tough to swallow. I don't really like them either, but they are institutions that have been repeatedly upheld by judges and courts across the political spectrum. I'm sure they have their rationale.

Personally, I don't really fret over Roberts because, let's face it, one way or another he will be appointed. It's hard to believe that a man with so little judicial experience and almost no record was honestly the best choice, but, on the other hand, Bush could have done much worse, and probably still pushed through the appointment. The strongest impression I get from Roberts, and something I actually like about him, is that, though he has certainly shown that he has strong opinions that he isn't afraid to vocalize, he doesn't seem to let those influence his legal judgement. He upholds what he feels to be the true spirit of the law, whether he agrees or not. At least that's the impression I get. But again, with such a small sample of judicidial rulings to go off, it's hard to tell beyond these general impressions. You have to admit, though, the guy really comes across as a robot.
 
  • #56
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
Personally, I don't really fret over Roberts because, let's face it, one way or another he will be appointed. It's hard to believe that a man with so little judicial experience and almost no record was honestly the best choice, but, on the other hand, Bush could have done much worse, and probably still pushed through the appointment.
I think Bush & Co. know. And since Bybee, the guy who wrote this (http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/doj/bybee80102ltr5.html)
has been appointed to the ninth circuit, I worry about the type of judges they are looking for.

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/doj/bybee80102ltr5.html
 
  • #57
loseyourname
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Skyhunter said:
I think Bush & Co. know. And since Bybee, the guy who wrote this (http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/doj/bybee80102ltr5.html)
has been appointed to the ninth circuit, I worry about the type of judges they are looking for.

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/doj/bybee80102ltr5.html
Yeah, as much as that sucks, I can't get riled up over the judge who wrote the ruling. He seems to be right legally, and it's only his job to uphold the law, not to make sure that we have the right laws. When something like that happens, I place the blame on the legislature. Loopholes like this that allow the US to torture detainees really need to be closed, and as far as I'm concerened, the honus lies on the executive and legislative branches, Bush and Congress, basically.

Then again, I've strongly considered going to law school and I tend to idealize the judicial branch of the government. I'll openly admit my bias in favor of them. I do loathe, Scalia, though.
 
  • #58
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
Yeah, as much as that sucks, I can't get riled up over the judge who wrote the ruling. He seems to be right legally, and it's only his job to uphold the law, not to make sure that we have the right laws. When something like that happens, I place the blame on the legislature. Loopholes like this that allow the US to torture detainees really need to be closed, and as far as I'm concerened, the honus lies on the executive and legislative branches, Bush and Congress, basically.

Then again, I've strongly considered going to law school and I tend to idealize the judicial branch of the government. I'll openly admit my bias in favor of them. I do loathe, Scalia, though.
Maybe you should. Close those loopholes. :wink:
 

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