Feinstein laying groundwork for “No” Vote on Roberts

In the Beginning, California Senator Diane Fienstein appeared to be openminded; sometimes even supportive of Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts. Needless to say, it didn’t last long!

The Senator has begun expressing doubt and reservations about Judge Roberts. In this effort she has gone out of her way to find and outline reasons to vote no on his nomination to the nation’s high court.

Her most recent excuse is reported by the Associated Press:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Wednesday that Roberts could be called to account for some of his humor from his years in the Reagan administration, when he frequently leavened his legal opinions with bursts of wit that could run from playful to caustic.

Feinstein, the only woman on the Judiciary Committee, pointed to one memo in which Roberts, while disparaging state efforts to combat discrimination against women, wondered whether “encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good.”

As unimaginable as it is that the Senator would bring up jokes made by Roberts decades ago, it is consistant with her recent trend of comments laying the groundwork for a no vote on Justice Roberts.

Consider initial statements about Robert’s and the appointment to the Supreme Court:

I don’t think there’s anybody on the court quite like he will be in that sense, because my sense is that he really grapples with the law and the interpretation of the law rather than any extraneous points of bias,

“He clearly is, I think, a very unusual person, because you do get the direct feeling of humility and modesty, and yet he apparently is very precise in his writing, his judging, his ability to put cases together when he was an attorney,”

But despite the fact that she clearly believes he is qualified, her conserns stem around more ideoligical concerns:

It would be very difficult for me to vote to confirm someone to the Supreme Court whom I knew would overturn Roe…

“I believe the choice is clear,” she said. “Government should not be allowed to interfere in personal, family decisions and overrule the most difficult choices a family can make. The question I have is how John Roberts will react to these real-life dilemmas when and if they come before him.”

In reality, John Roberts will get a vote and will be confirmed by a narrow margin. But Democrats are setting the stage for the battle when Chief Justice Rehnquist retires. They are drawing a line in the sand and declaring Justice Roberts as the most conservative justice they are willing to approve.

This confirmation hearing will be interesting, but the real fireworks are yet to come.

Craig DeLuz

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