September 6, 2005

Must Roberts now meet an even higher standard?

Wisconsin Senators Kohl and Feingold — both on the Judiciary Committee — both think so, according to this AP report. Here's my favorite part:
Legal scholars in Wisconsin, however, said they thought the bar probably wasn't any higher for Roberts now.

"The standard for an associate justice is high enough so that it is virtually impossible to be any higher," Marquette University law professor Peter Rofes said. "I cannot imagine a standard for the chief justice being higher."

Ann Althouse, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, agreed.

"I think an associate justice position is so important that it needs full examination," she said. "I can't think what more one could want for the chief justice."

And, no, Rofes and I didn't get together in advance to coordinate (and weren't listening in on each other's phone calls).

So great minds think alike. I'll leave it to you to decide whether the great minds are Kohl and Feingold or me and Rofes.

12 comments:

Paul said...

Oh, give us a harder question, Great One.

Eli Blake said...

Truth is, I think most of us liberals agree with you, in the sense that those of us concerned about his positions didn't support him in the first place, and those who supported him then, support him now. In fact, last night on my blog I did something I never did before (and made a big deal out of it): reposted a post that I had posted for the first time on August 15. That is because he was not someone I could support then, and is not someone I can support now. Of course, he will be confirmed-- we all know that-- but he would have anyway. I honestly thought as hard as I could on why it would make a difference between chief and associate justice and the only thing I could come up with was his past statements on equal pay in which he had defended the seniority system and its attendant benefits, and how he will in contrast be the least senior (for a few weeks anyway). But that is such a stretch that even I would never argue it seriously.

And, being Liberal who can always find a silver lining, I have to admit finding one: the thought of the egotistical and caustic Antonin Scalia, shocked that he was passed over, crying in his beer at the realization that he will never be the Chief Justice.

Bruce Hayden said...

eli is right. There really is no real difference, and, thus, any additional delay on the part of the Democrats in the Senate is just going to make them look silly.

somross said...

Ann, did it bother you that the journalist made it sound as though you were conversing with Rofes, or at least that it sounded as though you had been asked if you agreed? And there might be something a Chief Justice would need that an Associate would not: the ability to preside over fellow justices, something everyone seemed to think Rehnquist excelled at. Laurence Tribe wrote an Op Ed today in the Times about Rehnquist's virtues, suggesting that his opinions were much better written than others'.

Goesh said...

Eli - Antonin can still hunt ducks with Master Dick Cheney - that must count for something..

Frank Borger said...

How can you tell when a politician is lying?

His lips are moving.

ziemer said...

it would be absurd for any senator to assert, about anyone, "so-and-so is qualified to be a supreme court justice, but unqualified to do that, plus take on whatever additional administrative duties are attached to being chief justice."

Ann Althouse said...

Somross: It's a local AP report and people around here don't picture Marquette and Wisconsin being in the same place, but it does kind of bother me, enough that I took the trouble to spell out that I wasn't just copying.

Richard Fagin said...

I go with Prof. Althouse and Rofes for the great minds. After all, Russ Feingold gave us "campaign finance reform." That should be dispositive on the issue.

jeff said...

Has anyone figured out yet how we seem to elect 100 such dinglefritzes the the Senate?

stealthlawprof said...

By the way, what would that higher standard be? The Democrats have spent months and millions trying to get an angle on Roberts. "A higher standard" is meaningless when you have nothing on the guy to start with.

Daryl Herbert said...

Given that Roberts is already facing the toughest possible scrutiny, I think the question should be: "Must Roberts' children and friends now meet an even higher standard of media scrutiny?"