Crapshoot anyway

Salon.com News | The John Roberts dossier — With Fred Thompson in charge of head-hunting the Bush regime pulled a rabbit out of the the hat with John Roberts, a guy who appears to be smarter than just about anyone in the administration. As far as I’m concerned he’s the least objectionable guy they could ever pick. But you can be sure there will be a ton of objections anyway because the Democrats are being lured into a situation they cannot win. It will make them look bad as usual. It’s like watching Lucy and the football. If they were smart they’d just ask a few basic questions then fast track him into office.

I was watching some old-line progressive writer lamenting the fading of traditional Democrat thinking and he made a great point. The Democrats do not understand what battles to fight and what’s important. So they fight everything as if it everything were equally important thus weakening their position on what might really be important. Bush picked Roberts, he must be bad by definition. From what I can tell he’s more likely to flip to liberal if he gets in. Or at least moderate. An Earl Warren. The conservatives should be more concerned than the Democrats. If this guy is rejected then you can except some crazies to be next in line.

I only blog this because of what I read in Salon. Mentioned in a piece about this guy was the off-handed and unexplained talking point that read as follows:

Another, much-noted accomplishment also has to do with civil liberties. In 2004, Roberts upheld the arrest of a 12-year-old girl who was handcuffed by transit police on the Washington Metro system for eating a single French fry. “No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation,” he wrote. Yet, he determined that the cops didn’t violate the girl’s rights under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches.

Huh? She ate a french fry and was put in chains? How horrible. The writer then goes on to the next topic with zero explanation. So on a more conservative blog I find the more logical explanation. The logical explanation is more than reasonable. Read this:

from BlogCritics

From Daily Kos: “Some kid had a French Fry in the Subway, and there was some silly rule that said you couldn’t and some Washington Burocratic snafu that siad he would have to go to jail for it. And long story short, The French Fry Judge ruled for the stupid burocratic rule over the kid. The kid went to jail.”

Actually, in this civil suit where the girl’s family sued a restaurant for having her handcuffed by a security guard after she stole some French Fries, the girl was not sent to jail and Roberts’ decision had nothing to do with incarcerating her. His ruling was merely that you could handcuff a 12 year old to keep her from running away when you caught her stealing and that you couldn’t be sued for doing it.

Now that makes sense. So why distort it?

And when you consider the fact that this guy was involved in the Microsoft case you have to support him just so the tech world can have someone with some concept of tech on the bench. Come on.



  1. Brenda Helverson says:

    I think that the Dems will ignore this minor soundbite and I agree that we should. However, we should take the time to imagine the outcry if this decison had been rendered by a Clinton nominee. Judge Roberts would be a threat to The America Way, O’Hannity would rant and call people names, and it would be Clinton’s fault.

  2. JimBob says:

    I think you are right on. The French Fry thing is a little disturbing but that isn’t really Robert’s fault. The Dems should check Roberts out and make sure everything is ok but they should be smart about it. If they filibuster Roberts without a good reason then Bush will nominate an even more conservative person next time. The Dems need to understand that this is one of the better decisions Bush has made in a long time.

  3. Brenda Helverson says:

    I WAS WRONG! Here’s the French Fry case twist that makes it bad law. The child was arrested under a bad law that DC soon repealed. The victim sued to expunge the arrest form her record so that she wold not be forced to check YES for the rest of her life when asked if she had ever been arrested. Roberts couldn’t rfind some way to help her and her arrest record stands. This fact alone makes him an asshole.

  4. Teyecoon says:

    Yeah, I agree that the next “option” is only likely to be worse as the Democrats will be fighting from a weaker standpoint on the “no compromise – rejection again” fence. They would probably be better off by easily accepting this guy, which will give them some “we compromised points” and then get tough on the next one when Renquist retires.

  5. Anthony says:

    “And when you consider the fact that this guy was involved in the Microsoft case you have to support him just so the tech world can have someone with some concept of tech on the bench. Come on.”

    A very good point. Sad but true (and you can’t really blame the justices that currently sit for their lack of knowledge on the subject).

  6. Don says:

    Have you noticed how this has put the novocaine to the Karl Rove thing? He’s already faded to page 5 and he’ll be off the radar completely by the end of another week.

  7. Sound the alarm says:

    Child arrest records are automatically erased when the child turns 18 unless the crime involves death.

  8. laineypie says:

    What are you people thinking?? The reason Dems are making such a big deal about this John Roberts guy is because it IS a big deal. This man will be appointed to the Supreme Court for life. He has the potential, along with other conservatives on the bench, to completely overturn monumentous decisions in our nation’s history and write new laws and policies that will affect us all. So what if he doesn’t look so bad, or sound so bad? Why wasn’t Edith picked? I will tell you why Edith wasn’t picked, one she is a female and two she has always chosen the most neutral path in her rulings, swaying very little to either extreme, and that wouldn’t fit a nominee of Bush now would it?

    This John Roberts guy is all for Corporate USA. He’s going to be Bush’s handpuppet on the Supreme Court. If Rehnquist retires and they appoint a second judge, we can all say goodbye to our health and our rights, because after that we will all be screwed. Oh well, that is what we deserve for electing a moron republican as president.

  9. Anthony says:

    Neutral path?!?! Neutral is good?!

    This is exactly why Kerry wasn’t elected President – He was as neutral as you get.

    Neutral is the very last thing this country wants or needs.

    Second of all the Democrats were on Bush even before he nominated John Roberts (which is pretty much the best Democrats can hope for mind you). This isn’t your standard Presidential nomination. This is a supreme court justice. Based on history no one has any right to step in the way of this appointment. This isn’t some High School popularity contest. The only reason the matter can be voted on is to prevent down right insane nominations (something that has never been a issue in this subject). It’s not to assure a person that both sides of the aisle like (or even one side for that matter).

    With out looking I’m sure there have been times in history when the supreme court clearly leaned to one side. Why? Because Americans leaned to that side when they voted for the President. Not because of some random kind of fate, or whatever BS you want to come up with.

    Oh… And try all you want but the gender of the person has nothing to do with the nomination. Bush has been quite open to putting minorities in power most notably Condoleezza Rice (who is both female, and black if you happened to conveniently forget).

  10. Teyecoon says:

    You’re right laineypie but in this country “majority” trumps intelligence and rationality so all we can hope for is a slow decline of the nation under this administration as they have this country by the balls and they are masters at convincing the American people that it is for their own good and benefit. Your not likely to see a “neutral” judge picked by “Dumbya” and with Congress in his control, this is the recipe for the “perfect storm”. We can only hope to weather this situation with an eye towards mitigating the damage rather than the unrealistic notion that we can prevent it.

  11. AB CD says:

    What laws would a conservative judge pass? The most activist they can get is striking down some federal laws and the recent decision that the government can force someone to sell their house or business whenever thet can get more tax money . Congress and legislatures should pass laws, not judges.

  12. Anthony says:

    Republicans didn’t pass that law AB CD – Or rather the ones that did pass it were in the minority.


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