SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Friday, July 22, 2005

AG MCKENNA HOPES JUDGE ROBERTS WILL BE CONFIRMED. So it was revealed at today's "media availabilty" in downtown Seattle. I used the end of my casual Friday lunch break to sit in on a media event concerning the nomination and confirmation of Judge John Roberts for the U.S. Supreme Court.

This event, moderated by Washington State's excellent Attorney General Rob McKenna, included a distinguished cast: Ron Ward, President of the Washington State Bar Association, King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng, former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (via telephone speaker), former Washington State Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland and former U.S. Attorney Mike McKay. (Present in the audience that included myself and several reporters was a really annoying guy who was constantly digging into his bag of chips and crunching them quite loudly. The man was obilivious to several cold stares. Finally, someone spoke with him and asked him to leave.)

In any case, Senator Gorton and Prosecutor Maleng expressed enthusiasm for the President's selection of Judge Roberts. Mr. McKay also had very positive words for Judge Roberts, though he did not specifically call for his confirmation just yet. He recalled a case in which he worked with both then-Solicitor General Kenneth Starr and his deputy John Roberts. Mr. Ward and Justice Ireland said they were not taking a position on his confirmation at this time--stating they would reserve judgment until the Senate confirmation hearings. A former WSBA President who spoke (and whose name eludes me at the moment) likewise declined to take a position but said he was very encouraged by the selection of Judge Roberts. All the participants commended Judge Roberts for his distinguished credentials and career.

Sen. Gorton noted during the Q&A time that simple disagreement with a nominee on one or a few issues should not amount to an automatic NO vote on confirmation. In this vein, Sen. Gorton referred to the confirmations of Justices Ginsburg and Breyer. When asked by AG McKenna whether he had voted to confirm President Clinton's respective nominees to the Supreme Court, Sen. Gorton answered YES. AG McKenna also pointed to the strong endorsements that Judge Roberts received during his confirmation process to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals from prominent lawyers of BOTH political parties. Prosecutor Maleng noted the overwhelming vote of the Senate for Judge Roberts, just a couple of years ago.

There has been grumbling from both poles of the political spectrum concerning Judge Roberts' nomination. Manuel Miranda's "The Next Justice" column in today's Opinion Journal contains a good or a good discussion of why those complaints rign hollow and why Judge Roberts should be confirmed.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)

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