July 21, 2005


Court Nominee's Life Is Rooted in Faith and Respect for Law (TODD S. PURDUM, JODI WILGOREN and PAM BELLUCK, 7/21/05, NY times)

He is the son of a company man, and he has lived a loyalist's life. His teachers remember him as the brightest of boys, but his classmates say he never lorded it over them. He was always conservative, but not doctrinaire. He was raised and remains a practicing Roman Catholic who declines, friends say, to wear his faith on his sleeve.

And like his first judicial mentor, Henry J. Friendly of the federal appeals court in New York, John G. Roberts is an erudite, Harvard-trained, Republican corporate-lawyer-turned-judge, with a punctilious, pragmatic view of the law. [...]

Laurence H. Tribe, a liberal professor of constitutional law at Harvard, remembers Judge Roberts as a student there and has kept in touch with him over the years. He does not recall Judge Roberts as a political conservative when he studied there.

"He's conservative in manner and conservative in approach," Mr. Tribe said. "He's a person who is cautious and careful, that's true. But he is also someone quite deeply immersed in the law, and he loves it. He believes in it as a discipline and pursues it in principle and not by way of politics."

In his 2003 written testimony, Judge Roberts cited Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Robert H. Jackson and John Marshall among the Supreme Court judges he most admired. One was a Republican, three were Democrats and one was a Federalist, but all were deeply influential in their day, and all would make any law professor's short list of all-time greats.

Judge Roberts's friends say his approach to the rest of his life is similarly embracing.

If Larry Tribe were to introduce him how would Democrats attack him?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 21, 2005 6:47 AM

Saw Larry on Brit Hume last night. Larry was saying that Roberts' decision in the french fry case troubled him. I don't think Larry is going off the reservstion on this one.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 21, 2005 10:19 AM

"If Larry Tribe were to introduce him how would Democrats attack him?"

With competing tribes?

Posted by: Noel at July 21, 2005 10:29 AM

If Lawrence Tribe had told the truth instead of lying about him during Bork's senate judicial hearings, they'd both be sitting on the Supreme Court right now duking out issues.

His lies deprived us having two of the best legal minds in the country on the bench and I dare say he has some regrets for bowing to pressure from Teddy.

If anyone remembers the incident, Tribe had the good grace to look ashamed of himself, he kept his eyes down, but still uttered the words that put the kibosh on Bork. Well him and those smarmy TV ads by Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch redux.

Posted by: erp at July 21, 2005 10:37 AM

I don't remember erp...to young to be noticing that stuff. What did he do exactly?

Posted by: RC at July 22, 2005 3:23 AM