8.10.2005

Ace of Spades: morally bankrupt partisan hack?

Ace of Spades, who I usually enjoy reading and agree with, is wrong, wrong, wrong today:

But what can we read from [John Roberts'] pro bono efforts on behalf of "gay rights"?

I don't really know the merits of the case, so I can't comment. But I find this a little distressing, not because I don't like gays, but because gay "rights," like abortion, is a useful proxy issue. I'm not pro-life myself (well, I'm a moderate; I support abortion rights with restrictions), but I tend to support pro-life candidates, not because I support their positions on abortion, but because I know it's a useful proxy to determine how they stand on 90% of other issues. If they can stand up to the New York Times editorial page on the crucial issue of abortion, they're not likely to be shirking violets on taxes or terrorism.

Same with this gay rights issue. Again, I have no idea if Roberts was on the right side or not, but I do know he personally chose this issue and dedicated a fraction of his limited pro-bono hours to litigate the case.

Ace, you disappoint me.

If you disagree with the legal justification for the Colorado ruling, that's one thing. I think it may have been a bad decision myself.

But supporting anti-gay-rights candidates in general because it's a litmus test for conservatism is just wrong. You could say the same thing about cable censorship or teaching creationism.

If you support a morally wrong position just because you tend to agree on other issues with people who hold that position, you are morally bankrupt, and a partisan hack.

John Roberts' work on the Colorado case may have been just a case of doing his job as a lawyer, or it may have been a principled position he believed in. If it is the latter, it speaks well for Roberts' independence and fair-mindedness, but it doesn't mean he's not conservative.

A more telling, and more encouraging, indication from Roberts is his dissent in the Rancho Viejo v. Norton case. This case sheds more light on his judicial philosophy because it is his actual judicial opinion, not just a position taken when working on behalf of a client. In this case, he takes a very restrictive view of the Commerce clause, which has been the primary clause exploited by leftists for the expansion of the federal government. This ruling alone is enough to make me support Judge Roberts. A few more Justices who share Roberts' reasonable view of the Commerce clause, and we might have a reasonable Supreme Court... not to mention what Roberts would do on medical marijuana and eminent domain.

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Thoughts on a #TradeWarTuesday

1) We're going to need to decouple from the evil Chinese regime. This started as a crazy Trump position but is now bipartisan consensus....