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Friday, July 22, 2005

sullum on roberts

Jacob Sullum's column today, "As Bad As We Want Him to Be?", discusses Dubya's nomination of John Roberts to the SCOTUS:
According to a New York Times editorial, a judge who applies the Constitution as written is trying to "resurrect ancient, and discredited, states' rights theories," while a judge who fails to perceive limits on state abortion laws in a Constitution that says nothing about the issue is "an extreme ideologue with an agenda of stripping away important rights." I hope Roberts is guilty as charged.
I agree! If only Roberts was the extreme libertarian that lefties are so terrified of, but he's almost certainly not:
One aspect of Roberts' record that I do find troubling (aside from the possibility that he won't live up to the rap against him) is his position on the legal treatment of accused terrorists. This month he signed on to a D.C. Circuit ruling that allowed the Bush administration to try people accused of terrorism before military commissions that lack the procedural safeguards of both civilian courts and standard courts-martial: Unsworn statements can be used as evidence, the defendant has no right to be present, and both the right to avoid self-incrimination and the presumption of innocence are contingent on ad hoc rules written by the Pentagon.
I'm not holding my breath, hoping he'll actually rule against the Feds on anything important. He'll be a mixed bag at best.


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