Bush makes good choice in Chief Justice Roberts

Bush makes good choice in Chief Justice Roberts

by Carl Benskin

If you weren’t watching C-SPAN 2, CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 29, you missed something that has happened only 16 other times in American history.

The Senate voted to confirm Judge John G. Roberts Jr. as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States. This decision, along with President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers, will affect the United States and our lives for at least the next 30 years.

So why is the Supreme Court and this nomination is so important?

Look at the recent case of Kelo v. City of New London. In this case, the court said the government could take a person’s home and property if doing so will increase the tax base for that community. Before this ruling the government was only allowed to take property if it was for public use, i.e. a school or road.

The kicker in this decision was the choice to side with private property over the individual’s rights. Kelo lost his property to another private developer for the sole interest of a higher tax pay-off to the city.

The decision was a 5-4. The five in the majority were Justices Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer, and Stevens, usually referred to as the liberal wing of the court. The four in the minority were Justices Thomas, Scalia, Rehnquist, and O’Conner, commonly referred to as the conservative wing of the court.

This decision will drastically affect everyone’s life if you ever plan to own a home or property. President Bush’s nominations will affect which side has control over the court.

But back to the issue at hand: student apathy.

Most students either didn’t know that there was a vacancy on the court or didn’t care. They should care because the court will make many decisions that will be important in the next term that started Oct. 3.

They will hear cases on how we will be able to practice religion.

They will make decision concerning student press freedoms and right to freedom of speech.

They will make decisions on what protection the government can give to unborn children from their mothers trying to kill them.

They will make decisions on whether or not we get to honor America’s foundation of Christian beliefs or push it aside as a footnote of history.

They will make decisions on whether or not our government can use every tool available to protect us from future terrorist attacks.

All of these issues, plus more to come in future decisions will affect Simpson students of this generation and the next.

Roberts came to the court with a great deal of experience. He clerked for Rehnquist and I have high hopes that he will follow in the same steps as Rehnquist.

Roberts came from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, a position that he has had since 2003. Roberts worked in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administration, in the Department of Justice and Office of the White House Counsel.

During the Clinton Administration he went into private practice and argued many cases before the Supreme Court. He argued 39 cases and won 25 of them.

I believe that Chief Justice Roberts will interpret law and not legislate from the bench. During the campaign President Bush made a promise to appoint justices in the mold of Clarence Thomas or Antonio Scalia. He has done that with Justice Roberts.

Elections have consequences. When choosing who you are going to support for president, you need to consider their judicial philosophy. Court appointments are for life. We can not vote them out. Pay attention to the Senate hearings, get involved and care.