George Will's Good Questions for Roberts


Columnist George Will offers up an excellent script for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' nomination hearing. Noting that Roberts has said he has "no overarching, uniform philosophy," Will lays out a series of questions that would make for a great hearing of the guy. They include the following:

With its Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Supreme Court sought to solve the sectional crisis by ruling that under the Constitution slaves and their descendants could never count as U.S. "citizens." Is it not arguable that this decision was (a) originalism and (b) activism?

[Oliver Wendell] Holmes, advocating judicial restraint in the name of majoritarianism, said: "If my fellow citizens want to go to Hell I'll help them. It's my job." In the past decade alone, the Rehnquist Court, in an unprecedented flurry of activism, has struck down more than three dozen enactments by the people's representatives in Congress. Are you for such judicial activism, or are you for helping us go to Hell? Or is this the fallacy of the false alternatives?

Whole thing, well worth checking out, here.

And let me direct readers back to Reason's July ish, chock full o' Supreme Court-related material, including tales of dementia on the High Court, an analysis of the Rehnquist's court legal legacy, a survey of libertarian legal theorists on the Court's best justices (past, present, and future), and the case for libertarian judicial activism.

It's all online, plus a Warholized print of the Supes, here.