Questions for Roberts

Via Brian Linse, this Reason piece by Matt Welch, in which Matt lists seven questins he would like Judge Roberts to answer. Some of the questions:

1) What isn’t interstate commerce?

2) How much reverence should be given to precedence? Sandra Day O’Connor was the Court’s swing vote; if he disagrees with her record, Roberts could change a lot of law.

3) Quick—Recite the Tenth Amendment. You never can be too sure.

4) Do you agree with United States v. Reynolds, and if so how do you square that agreement with the fact that the federal government, in successfully arguing for what was then a new right to keep secrets from the judicial branch, has been recently shown to have lied its ever-lovin’ ass off?

5) You’re on a lifeboat, but it can only hold 8 of the original 10 amendments without sinking, killing your whole family. Which ones go?

Read the whole thing. Also, some more information on Judge Roberts and judicalrestraint from Life News:

In a 1997 case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that no right to assisted suicide exists, but states could decide whether to allow assisted suicides to take place.

In the cases, Washington v. Glucksburg and Vacco v. Quill, the court upheld laws against assisted suicide in Washington and New York.

In an interview that year with the PBS news program “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” Roberts commented on the rulings.

“I think it’s important not to have too narrow a view of protecting personal rights,” he said.

“The right that was protected in the assisted-suicide case was the right of the people through their legislatures to articulate their own views on the policies that should apply in those cases of terminating life, and not to have the court interfering in those policy decisions,” Roberts explained. “That’s an important right.”

Observers say the remarks point to Roberts’ attitude of judicial restraint — of not allowing courts to overturn the will of the people as handed down through legislation approved by the state legislature.






7 replies
  1. 1
    Brad R. says:

    You’re on a lifeboat, but it can only hold 8 of the original 10 amendments without sinking, killing your whole family. Which ones go?

    OK, not the second one, because you’re gonna need a gun if a shark comes along…

  2. 2
    Steve says:

    I am still waiting for a Third Amendment case to come before the Supreme Court. I hope he keeps that one!

  3. 3
    ppGaz says:

    “The right that was protected in the assisted-suicide case was the right of the people through their legislatures to articulate their own views on the policies that should apply in those cases of terminating life, and not to have the court interfering in those policy decisions,” Roberts explained. “That’s an important right.”

    Now that’s scary. That’s pure doublespeak.

    “Articulate their views?” I don’t think even the master bullshit artist William Safire could have coined a better malapropism. Passing laws that force majority views on people who deserve, more than anything else, to be left alone, is not “articulation of views.” It’s tyranny.

  4. 4
    Biff says:

    To add to what ppGaz says, governments don’t have rights, they have powers. Only individual citizens have rights. “The right of the people through their legislatures to do X” is just a sophist’s way of saying “The power of the government to do X”. In this case, Roberts is talking about the power of a majority to override end-of-life decisions by individuals.

    There may not be a constitutional right to assisted suicide, but only because government is empowered to protect individual lives, not because of this nonsense about “rights” of the “people”.

  5. 5
    Moe Lane says:

    5) You’re on a lifeboat, but it can only hold 8 of the original 10 amendments without sinking, killing your whole family. Which ones go?

    Damn. That’s a question with teeth in it. I could possibly see tossing III if I absolutely had to*, but past that… urk.

    Moe

    *It’s just not been that much of an issue in modern life. Probably because we haven’t been invaded lately and we do have the Amendment, but still.

  6. 6

    […] Last week, Matt Welch suggested several questions he would like asked of Judge Roberts: […]

  7. 7
    Don Surber says:

    More interesting were the Welch questions:
    #1. What isn’t interstate commerce? (Clarence Thomas answered this in the Raich case. He is simply the best justice on a mediocre court watered down by the gridlock of GOP prexies, Dem Congresses — Clinton was to the right of the first Bush)
    #6 Do you think the 5th Amendment right to a grand jury has been perverted over time to become an enabler of, and not a protection from, prosecutors gone wild? (Yup)
    Some of his commentary is silly: “The Bush Administration, using post-9/11 National Security as its justification, is engaged in a deliberate campaign to expand the power of the Executive, at the direct expense of both the judiciary and the principles of open government.”
    We’re at war. Presidents must preserve the nation first, Constitution second. Lincoln, habeas corpus. FDR, internment camps. Bush has been too restrained in this area.

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