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Bench Memos

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Confirming Him



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Dems will, of course, find a way to give him a hard time, but they’ve got the obstacle of having fairly recently put him through the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation deal fairly recently for his D.C. Circuit seat–May 2003.

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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Born 1955



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That’s making use of the presidential Scotus power!

So I guess



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Judge Roberts is back from London.

it’s john roberts



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CNN reporting

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re: TradeSports



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As much as I would like it to be Jones, those casting bets in her favor are wrong. I’ve got very solid information that it will not be her. Place your bets.

My Question Right Now



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Is anyone reading in John Roberts class in Georgetown’s London program? Want to tell me if he taught today? (Ann Compton supposedly said he is D.C. I don’t know if she was assuming that or knows it.)

Tradesports.com Is Going Gaga



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“If I had to bet a dollar right now...”



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Stuart calls Luttig.

Brit Hume



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is asking Stuart Taylor temperament kinda questions on Roberts on his show right now. I sense he’s getting the same vibe I’ve been getting the last hours or so.

More Ann Compton



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Passing on secondhand:

Compton did note that it can’t be Edith Jones because she was in Houston at
4 p.m. (but who’s to say she can’t make it to Washington juuuuust in time if she left at 5 p.m.). Another commonly floated nominee is in Philly [I'm unclear who--anyone know where Mary Ann Glendon is? I can dream.] and John Roberts is in town.

Not Luttig?



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I’m just told: Not Luttig. Ann Compton said so on a WMAL talk show two minutes ago that ABC sources say it’s not Luttig, for what that’s worth.

Did Major Garrett Just Say



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that he expects it won’t be anyone who can be perceived as “an angry white man”? I assume there’s no other kind of white male? With every comment like that I become more and more convinced Bush will do the impossible.

Here’s my question: Supposedly when O’Connor was chosen everywoman got goosebumps, wanted to hug her…will men have the same reax if John Roberts is the nominee?

RE: Hewitt



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I’ll be on around 10pm. For those that don’t get his show locally, you should be able to listen in through his website here.

RE: Luttig



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While I am not terribly surprised to see the Luttig children in proper attire in DC even if there is not a special occasion, the fact that Luttig is there is interesting. After all, he was down in Richmond this morning to hear oral arguments in the Padilla case, so he clearly had to beat feet back.

The Case for Edith (Jones)



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Bush 41 raised taxes. Bush 43 lowered them. Bush 41 went to war with Iraq, but left Hussein in power. Bush 43 toppled the Hussein regime. Bush 41 picked David Souter over Edith Jones for the Supreme Court. Bush 43 . . .

Dark Horses from Off the Bench



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Rumors are running wild now that Judge Clement has confirmed she’s out. Most speculation is focusing on judges, but who says the nominee needs judicial experience. Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon is a possibility, but I doubt it’s her. For a White House that likes surprises, and wants a conservative candidate the Dems can’t tough, there are other options. One intriguing possibility: Maureen Mahoney. Her legal credentials are impeccable and beyond reproach. A former clerk to Chief Justice Rehnquist, she has a sterling conservative reputation, having served in the Bush 41 SG’s office. She was named to a district court in 1991, but the non-obstructionist Democratic Senate never moved on her nomination. There is a wrinkle: She represented the University of Michigan Law School in the affirmative action cases, and made comments suggesting she believed in the law school’s case. But this might not be disqualifying in this administration, as her position was not that far from that of Bush’s own legal team. Picking Mahoney would also suggest Bush is picking a nominee “just like O’Connor.”

CNN



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has shown pictures of the Luttig family in D.C. today. Kids in uncomfortable-for-D.C.-in-July kinda clothes.

Hugh Hewitt



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is doing a long night of SCOTUS coverage tonight. You’ll probably be hearing Adler and Coffin. I’ll be on around 10:30.

Sheesh



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Charles Grassley very irritably just told Wolf Blitzer Grassley is owed the courtesy of hearing the name of the nominee before you little people hear it.

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