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September 09, 2005

All Together Now...

..."Supreme Court Justices do not make policy." What on earth are Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard doing quizzing Chief Justice nominee John Roberts about western water rights? Other than the proper roles of federal and state governments in setting the rules, the kinds of cooperation permitted to the states, and so forth, but these issues apply to lots of regional issues all over the country.

Roberts, however, has apparently seen The Incredibles:

[He], however, told Allard "all parts of the country are unique to one degree or another."

Salazar, though, seems to think of the Court as a legislature:

Salazar said Wednesday that he wants to get to know Roberts and find out whether he will work to “create unity” on the high court.

“We haven't seen that under the Rehnquist court,” Salazar said. “We've seen a very divided court, with many 5-4 opinions. I would hope that, if Judge Roberts becomes the chief justice, he can try to get the members of the court to act more as a body, as opposed to that kind of division.”

On major decisions, there is sometimes a desire to achieve unity. But this division is at least as much the fault of a recalcitrant and unreasoning Left as it is of the Chief Justice. Taking a look at the two Ten Commandments decisions last year, they were both 5-4 decisions, with the only swing vote being O'Connor. To expect John Roberts to get John Paul Stevens to vote more sensibly is asking a little bit much. And Salazar would make the situation completely impossible by replacing Justice O'Connor with her "clone," if possible.

The Chief Justice should try to achieve some level of amity and needs to be able to preserve the collegiality necessary for the Court to work. It's not his job to assure 9-0, or ever 7-2, decisions. One suspects (cough) that Salazar is really asking Judge Roberts to achieve unity through surrender.

Posted by joshuasharf at September 9, 2005 07:11 PM | TrackBack

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