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Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

RE: Roberts



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If he is confirmed without too much to-do, my faith in the judicial nomination process might be restored. I recently told a liberal friend that Roberts truly is the “best available” nominee. When she asked what that meant (and wondered “if Roberts is a old white guy or worse a middle aged white guy?” I responded as follows:
John Roberts was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit court of Appeals in the last few years, though he was first nominated in 1991 by Bush 41. He is a “middle-aged white guy,” but he is universally regarded as among the best Supreme Court advocate in the nation, bar none. He clerked for Rehnquist, was deputy SG, is a remarkable oral advocate and a sharp legal mind. He is liked and admired by all of the current justices, who regularly look forward to cases in which he is representing one of the parties because of the quality of his work. If a case is winnable, he will win it. It is a travesty he was not confirmed to the D.C. Circuit in the 1990s when first nominated. Setting aside ideology — and he has a sterling conservative reputation despite the relative lack of a paper trail — he is close to the Platonic ideal of what a Supreme Court nominee should be.



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