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Opening Arguments

A true stealth candidate

There is so much claptrap out there about the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court that it's hard to find the worthwhile stuff by people honestly trying to decipher what his addition to the court would mean. Here's a great site -- apparently a relatively new one -- that offers even-handed analyses with what seem to me to be real insights. People who think they know what kind of justice Roberts would be should especially heed these words in one of the posts by  Tim Wu:

I have just wasted time trying to figure out what J. Roberts really thinks about intellectual property, telecom, or international law. I give up . . . Roberts is a true stealth candidate.

Since neither side has a clue, the effect is to make the nomination a blind bet. Anyone who thinks they know what Roberts will do is kidding themselves, including George W. Bush. What Bush may not have realised is the difference between the Roberts nomination and all the other senior officials he's chosen. His administration officials remain beholden — we've seen how severly lack of loyalty is punished. But Roberts, if confirmed, will be free to do what he wants, regardless of what the Vice President's Office has to say.

Putting Roberts on the Court would be like a pyschological experiment. What does a man do when he gets what he's always wanted? Who does Roberts become when the carrot of a Supreme Court nomination is removed from his life?