20 July 2005

John Roberts, Stealth nominee


Surely no one believes that John Roberts is anything other than a hard-core conservative who the White House expects will vote to, oh, inject more religion into our government, and severely restrict, if not eliminate, a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. But it's difficult to prove this, because he's left a very limited paper trail.

It seems likely that he was chosen for this very reason. If he's careful to say nothing in his confirmation hearings beyond his published words, Democrats will have a difficult time opposing him without seeming to do so for purely partisan reasons. And Republicans will vote for him anyway, since Bush is very unlikely to have appointed a moderate, or even a conservative in the sense of being reluctant to overturn precedent.

Roberts is a smart choice on the part of the administration. Whether he's good for the country will be impossible to tell until after his confirmation. And that's why he was nominated, and why he will be confirmed.