Supreme Court Edition!

The blogs were quick out of the box this morning in parsing President Bush’s choice of John Roberts to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement. Captain’s Quarters takes a look at some of the morning op-ed pages to weigh them for that ever-present “bias” that allegedly stalks the media.

He gives the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune a pretty fair look, noting that “I suspect that as the hearings move forward, editorial boards will find what they need to take a more firm position on his confirmation. In the meantime, to varying extents, they have to sit on their hands and wait for the Judiciary Committee to do its job.”

The Heretik blog, like the Cap’n and most other blogs today, is equally cautious, and so far has stayed away from any grand ideological pronouncements, writing that “Compared to some nominations to the Supreme Court George Bush could have made, John Roberts is not some right wing lightning that would be followed with immediate and loud Democratic thunder. Roberts hasn’t made as many overt statements that opponents can challenge and hold up, but he is against Roe … If the Democrats were to block Roberts, they would be branded nightly as ‘obstructionists’ and Bush could come back with something worse.”

The Bostonist displays some studied indifference to the nomination, writing that “we can hardly get worked into too much of a froth over Roberts. He seems to be a plain vanilla conservative, having worked for Bush Sr. and Reagan, and judging by the complete lack of firebrand ideology he’s ever displayed in his whole career, he must have been gunning for a Supreme Court seat from way back.”

Over at the TPMCafe, Mark Schmitt takes a look at the hysterical televised punditry surrounding the nomination and advises everyone to just take a deep breath. “Why does everyone seem to think that they have to decide tonight whether John Roberts is an outrageous ideologue, or a pretty mainstream, incrementalist conservative of the type that you have the right to expect when you have a conservative Republican president and Senate?”

Good point, and, we hasten to add, it’s a little disconcerting when the blogosphere provides a more studied, measured take on the nomination than the blow-dried television pundits trying to be first to point out some arcane detail or another.

Finally, DC-based Malaise and Bonbons finds a compelling, rather libertarian reason to oppose Roberts’ nomination: “He’s the judge who upheld the ruling against the 12-year-old arrested for eating french fries in the metro.

“Here’s my litmus test: I will not support ANY supreme court nominee who won’t let me drink a damn cup of coffee on my public transportation system.”

There you have it. Now, go to your corners and let’s have a nice, clean fight.

Paul McLeary

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Paul McLeary is senior editor of Defense Technology International magazine, and is a former CJR staffer.