Roberts Blog, Preview Thread

OK, I'm in DC now. This will not be my usual style of blogging. I will provide frequent, short updates throughout the day in a series of threads. One thing will be the same: my views are not relfective of any organization whatsoever. I'll be using this thread until around noon, then I'll start another one.
  • NPR will be broadcasting the hearings gavel to gavel, as will C-SPAN.

  • If you haven't read it yet, check out this excellent article on how the Chief Justice if different from the other eight Associate Justicies.

  • Staying on public opinion for a bit, just like with Bush, the partisan gap on Roberts is a lot more interesting than the overall numbers.Time Poll conducted by Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas (SRBI) Public Affairs. Sept. 7-8, 2005. N=1,000 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).
         Confirm    Not Confirm     Unsure
    All    48           26            26
    Dem    29           41            18
    Ind    48           29            31
    Rep    73            9            23
    I don't really care about the numbers for Republicans, since over the past four years they have shown that they will fall into lockstep with pretty much anything their leaders suggest. I am a lot more interested in pushing Democratic numbers to become at least a mirror of the Republican numbers. Ideally, Democrats would be even more unified.

    Obviously, we are not going to get pretty much anywhere unless the numbers for Independents move, big time. Democratic gains over the past eight months have come almost entirely within Independents, and right now pretty much all of our potential successes are predicated upon maintaining those gains. In order for this to be an effective fight, Independents cannot remain equidistant from Dems and Reps.

  • The polls on Roberts are starting to pile up. While Roberts still has a decent confirm / not confirm margin in most polls (the range is roughly +15 to +25, depending on the poll), he has not had a majority in favor of his confirmation since he was nominated for Chief Justice. In fact, public opinion favoring his confirmation has eroded significantly since late July:
    Poll     Date    Confirm / Not Confirm Margin
    News      9/9               +20
    Time      9/8               +22
    CBS       9/7               +25
    Pew       9/7               +16
    Fox       8/31              +24
    CBS       8/31              +17
    Gallup    8/7               +23
    News      8/4               +23
    Fox       7/27              +31
    Gallup    7/24              +37
    ABC       7/21              +36
    With the exception of CBS, slowly but surely, the margin is dropping.

  • Roberts will try to make the case that he is replacing Rehnquist, not O'Conner. This will include noting that he was first contacted by the White House in April, and by noting that O'Conner is still on the Supreme Court. Despite the obvious fact that he was nominated while Rehnquist was still on the court, considering how quickly Bush changed Roberts' nomination to chief justice, I am at least willing to grant that the White House was clearly fixed on Roberts as the next chief justice before Rehnquist passed.

Tags: Judges (all tags)



I'd be interested in your view on the question that seems to me the single most critical question in American life: Where the f* are the Democrats? The blogosphere is aflame; the surveys show Bush tanking; the country is an international disgrace; the poor in NOLA are dying on the streets --- and the Democrats are silent.
Of course we expect mealy-mouthed horseshit from Hillary and Kerry and Biden and the other dwarfs; they are Repub Lite and always will be. But is there no national Democratic leader willing to speak the truth about the crimes being committed by this evil administration? Are the Democrats on Capitol Hill so blinded by Roberts smiling face that they are going to turn the one remaining semi-independant branch of our government over to a committed, unequivocal, hard-line right-wing fanatic  --and that, for perhaps another 40or more years? How do you, now reporting from Washington, explain this extraordinary situation to us poor mortels living in the real world? Help!
by Jolly frog 2005-09-12 07:26AM | 0 recs
Where the f* are the Democrats?
They are keeping their powder dry... for what God only knows.
by Parker 2005-09-12 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Roberts
Obama actually was very vocal about the New Orleans issues and has been taking the administration to task.  He just correctly sees the issue... not of race as has been said by some in the party (which is a bit foolish IMHO) but of class.  He is hammering the point that most of the safety nets for the poor and unfortunate are being eviscerated by the Bush administration.  He is doing phenomenal work right now and is one of the future leaders of our party.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-12 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Roberts
It is race... and if you can not see that then you are the foolish one.

There have been some great diaries and comments written and I recommend you to read them.

Blacks where being shot at trying to cross the bridge by cops from other parishes.
by Parker 2005-09-12 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Roberts
I'm sorry Parker, but I disagree with the notion that the Federal Governments response is predicated on racism. Yes, I will strongly agree that a majority of people being affected in this situation are black.  However, I disagree that the response to New Orleans is based solely on the reason that they are black.  The Katrina situation was caused by economic prejudices of the Bush administration.  There are a lot of poor white people in New Orleans as well who have gone through the same situation.  The Bushies don't look down on minorities; otherwise the man wouldn't be friends with the Saudis, Condi Rice, Gonzalez etc.  They look down upon the poor.  W and his family and the others that think like them truly believe in an american Caste system.  Obviously, King George is in the highest Caste.  Bush doesn't like the rednecks who agree with his view points or vote for him.  He wouldn't watch a game with them or drink beer with them.  But he will use them to acheive and maintain power.  And somehow he convinces them he likes them.  It is kind of like the popular girl using the nerdy guy to do her homework... then leaving him midway through to nail the star QB.

I don't know if Bill was faking it or not, but whenever I saw the man, I always felt he liked most people.  Black, White, Hispanic.. it didn't matter.  Bill would eat BBQ with you or have a beer and be genuinely interested in you.  

Yes, racism still exists... but it did not play a part in the Federal Government's response to Katrina.  It is SO far beyond that and until we see that, the old racial divide game will weaken the poor and middle class majority.  The wealthy have done a great job of obscuring the real game going on here.  Look at the treatment of the poor after the new deal and look at it now as the wealth divide has grown.  This small minority runs this country.  And most of them see us as stupid peons beneath them.

As for your comment about the bridges and parrishes, my comment was about the federal response.  Therefore, it doesn't have a real bearing on the comment I made.  Yes, I will agree there is rampant racism on a local level in new orleans.  I am down that way a lot and there is a LOT of anger on both sides... ironically enough between the working classes.  I would also point out that same racism exists on local levels in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and many other states.  However, given that I am originally from the south and all my relatives reside there, I will also tell you there is class system at work down there.  Poor Blacks are treated the worst, but poor whites are only a step above them.  Then comes middle class and then rich in the same levels.  It is completely wrong and messed up.  But it highlights how the rich elite continue to divide the country with racism, gays, god, guns etc... which are all designed with one true purpose... to keep the historical trend of the middle class moving into and taking over the upper class from happening... so they can maintain power for generations.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-09-12 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Roberts
Whites were told that the FEMA would pick up the billl for two week stay in a hotel whereas Blacks are corralled in to superdomes or detainment camps and not allowed to leave for five months... being fed MREs twice a day...

National guardsmen went through the Superdome and convention center and plucked out white people days before the mass exodus

by Parker 2005-09-12 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Roberts
Again Parker, I disagree with you.  The fact the problem is a class issue should be scarier than anything else.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-13 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Roberts
And for the record, I do think that the blame game should be played.  I think the ineptness of the Feds to respond and prepare for Katrina is ridiculous and that many of Bush's budget cuts to pay for the tax cuts for his rich friends led to the situation and the fact that Bush simply doesn't care about the poor, and only cares about the middle class as they keep him in power.
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-12 10:39AM | 0 recs
Last I checked the only poll that counts is called the US Senate. I don't see any possiblity of stopping the nomination there. Or do you have some inside information?

Just remember all the other battles, judges, Bolton, etc. The Dems lost every single one.

by rdf 2005-09-12 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Polls
They just want to be seen "pretending" to fight... so far they haven't lifted a finger... oh... I take that back... they tore down NARAL making sure they where ineffective in fighting against the Republican agenda.
by Parker 2005-09-12 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Polls
To be fair, they were winning Bolton.  He got in on a technicality.  If he does nothing to embarass the country though, I expect him to win when the issue comes up again next year.  My guess is the Bushies told him to lay low for now.  
by yitbos96bb 2005-09-12 08:12AM | 0 recs
Why isn't any DEMOCRATS saying this?

ROBERST IS TOO JUNIOR to be the Chief Justice.

From the wiki page on CJOTUS:

  • The Chief Justice is considered to be the justice with most seniority, independent of the number of years he or she has served.
  • In any vote, the most senior Justice in the majority has the power to decide who will write the Opinion of the Court.
  • Chairs the conferences where cases are discussed and voted on by the Justices. The Chief Justice normally speaks first, and so has great influence in framing the discussion.
  • The Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside when the Senate tries an impeachment of the President of the United States (hopefully revelavant, come Jan 2007 :))
  • Serves as the head of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the chief administrative body of the U.S. federal courts.

Well, DUH,

CJOTUS IS NOT AN ENTRY-LEVEL position on the court.

by NeoLiberal 2005-09-12 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why isn't any DEMOCRATS saying this?
Make that:

ROBERST IS TOO DAMN JUNIOR to be the Chief Justice.

for better aural effect.

Chris, how about X-posting your diaries on this subject over at dKos, where momentum could build more rapidly?


by NeoLiberal 2005-09-12 08:57AM | 0 recs
for the push, Chris.

Does anyone know how long the confirmation process is expected to take? Because, in order for the momentum to precipitae against confirming Roberts, one does need TIME.

by NeoLiberal 2005-09-12 08:53AM | 0 recs
Jeff Sessions
may be the dumbest guy in the senate, worse than Warner.  I thought that he was awful on the bankruptcy bill, not just in terms of his vote but also in the way that he talked about it.

Or he may just be incredibly disingenuous.  Those shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

by Abby 2005-09-12 09:44AM | 0 recs


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