Reid to say NO to Roberts

News & Politics

He's not perfect -- not by a long shot -- but Harry Reid, the unassuming Mormon from Nevada is growing on me. The good news: he's voting against Roberts... The bad: it doesn't sound like he's making much of an effort to get other Dems on board, let alone to filibuster...

Nevertheless, here's the carefully-worded opening statement:

"No one doubts that John Roberts is an excellent lawyer and an affable person. But at the end of this process, I have too many unanswered questions about the nominee to justify a vote confirming him to this enormously important lifetime position."

It was critical to word the opposition this way to cut off the talking points rebuttals: 1. How can you oppose this sweet man? and 2. He's a great lawyer, what more do you want?

Someone who'll answer questions so the congress can perform its constitutionally mandated duty, for one...

Other highlights from Reid's statement:


  • "If confirmed, Judge Roberts, who is only 50 years old, will likely serve as Chief Justice and leader of the third branch of the federal government for decades to come... The legal authority that we will hand to Judge Roberts by this confirmation vote is awesome. In my view, we should only vote to confirm this nominee if we are absolutely positive that he is the right person to hold that authority.
  • "As I see it, any nominee for the Supreme Court bears the burden of persuading the Senate and the American people that he or she deserves confirmation to a lifetime seat on the Court."
  • "It is now clear that as a young lawyer, John Roberts played a significant role in shaping and advancing the Republican agenda to roll back civil rights protections...these memos lead one to question whether he truly appreciated the history of the civil rights struggle."
  • "The failure of the White House to produce relevant documents is reason enough for any Senator to oppose this nomination. The Administration cannot treat the Senate with such disrespect without some consequences."


Now, is this a call to arms for Democrats to begin construction on that new backbone they've been on about? Is it a biteless bark to approximate said backbone?

Put the requisite cynicism aside for a moment and weigh in on what's really going on here...

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