I just don't believe him, Judge Roberts. I can't believe someone so involved in the law, so close to the world of politics, and married to an activist, does not already have a keen interest and desire to either strengthen or weaken protections in controversial subjects. Still, he seems poised to make a savvy argument that his motivations and categories as a jurist are not what we would assume. Writing in the NYTimes, Senator Arlen Specter says:
In my discussion with Judge Roberts last week, I asked him if he would feel comfortable with any of the customary labels - liberal, moderate, conservative. Rejecting those categorizations, he said he would strive for modesty. His goal was to be a modest jurist on a modest court that understands its place in the balance of powers inherent in our Constitution.Considering I assume him to be a raging conservative, I hope he's telling the truth to the Senator. Either way, it sounds perfectly distinguished enough that I expect to hear those words--stability and modesty--in his explanations before the committee. It's a nice line. But I have to ask: why would a person that intelligent enter such a fast track up the judicial career ladder, with the clear purpose and hope of being named to the Court, and then strive to have no real impact, to dream of going essentially unnoticed, with a goal of lessening the power of the elite institution he wants to join? I don't buy it.
He also emphasized the importance of stability. His focus on modesty and stability provide comfort that he would not be an activist but would respect Congressional action and judicial precedent.