Bench Memos

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Nonsense on Stilts


That Jonathan Turley piece in yesterday’s LA Times that’s come up a few times here is remarkably silly. Turley breathlessly reports Senator Durbin’s account of a private meeting between Durbin and Judge Roberts in which Durbin supposedly flustered Roberts by asking “what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral.” Turley says that Roberts’s supposed answer—that he would recuse himself—is the wrong answer, raises “difficult questions of fitness,” and dramatically transforms the whole confirmation process.

Turley’s essay is nonsense on stilts. Turley seems to reject the elementary idea that there might be extraordinary circumstances in which a judge would have to recuse himself in order to avoid being actively complicit in evil. Would Turley himself, as a judge, order a coercive abortion if, hypothetically, that was what the law required? But there is no reason to believe that Roberts would anticipate any such circumstances.

Turley’s transparent effort (in concert with Durbin, evidently, as Kathryn notes) to concoct an issue is yet another illustration how ridiculous and desperate the Left is.


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