For some individuals, the nomination of John Roberts to fill the vacancy of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is a controversial one. His detractors have stated that he is a right-wing ideologue, and is inexperienced simply because he has not served on the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, the evidence they have presented thus far are the typical liberal obloquies. For most liberals, especially women, the main issue of concern is abortion, and whether or not Roberts would overturn Roe v. Wade. It can then be said that their main concern is not really his qualifications, but rather his position on the issues that are of paramount concern to them.
This is a major problem because the process is a judicial one, and not a political one.
Roberts is not being elected, but appointed. The main questions asked of Roberts ought to be concerned with his qualifications, and not his views on potential cases that may arise in the near future (which any such question would be unethical for him to answer).
To put it simply, Roe v. Wade was a controversial court decision that gave women the “right” to terminate their own pregnancies. On the one side there are those who say it is “my body, my choice,” and on the other side there are those who say “thou shall not kill.”
Regardless of religious affiliation, this is a nation of laws, and as such, we are obligated to follow the laws set forth in the Constitution.
Roberts’ reputation as a pro-life attorney is not to be confused with blind conservatism. His attitude against abortion is simply objective, as it reveals his grasp of the U.S. Constitution.
The problem with the Roe v. Wade ruling, aside from the obvious moral questions it raises, is that there is nothing in the Constitution that provides a reason for the decision. The alleged “privacy” laws of the fourth amendment clearly do not cover this. The decision also contradicts earlier interpretations of the Constitution such as in the court case Katz v. United States, which was made just five years before Roe v. Wade.
Furthermore, Roberts is aware of his predecessors’ readings of the Constitution. In Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent on the case, he took issue with this, arguing that privacy was not the central issue involved. Rehnquist said, “Nor is the ‘privacy’ the Court finds here even a distant relative of the freedom from searches and seizures protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which the Court has referred to as embodying a right to privacy-“
There is clearly nothing, then, that allows for this so-called “right.” For example, it is illegal to attempt suicide, granted that if you are successful it is not as if one can be arrested, but is certainly punishable by law if attempted without success. Furthermore, if one is in the “privacy” of his or her own home and hits one of his or her children, that person would be arrested for child abuse, but why is this not covered under the “privacy” laws as well?
Roberts has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit since September 2003, and was in private practice for 14 years previously, also serving two Republican administrations. This is ample experience for a Supreme Court Chief Justice, as many judges have been appointed to the chair without prior experience in the Supreme Court.
He is a graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and also clerked for Rehnquist on the Supreme Court.
Roberts is highly qualified and will rule according to the law.