Behind the Roberts Nomination

The New American, August 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

Behind the Roberts Nomination


Federal Judge John G. Roberts, Jr., who has been selected by President Bush to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation, has been described as a conservative-leaning jurist with a thin and enigmatic record. Roberts has received cautious support from conservatives, and has received subdued suspicion by liberals, both factions focusing chiefly on his views of abortion and other social issues. But little attention has been paid to the fact that Roberts has endorsed a view of presidential war powers that could fairly be described as dictatorial.

Roberts' views of abortion have yet to be tested. However, his view of presidential power was expressed in an Appeals Court decision handed down just four days before he was tapped to replace O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Roberts participated in a July 15 decision by a panel from the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the Bush administration's claim that the president can designate any individual as an "enemy combatant" and detain that individual indefinitely. The July 15 decision also assented to the administration's claim that the president can create special military tribunals to conduct trials of enemy combatants, rendering decisions that are not subject to judicial review of any sort. …

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