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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Democrats, Republicans, and John Roberts

As the hearings for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts get closer we are seeing a battle brew in Washington. It is not as volatile as it could be, but that is not to say that the stage is not being set for an all out war later in the confirmation process. The last few days have been dominated by a partisan stance on releasing Judge Roberts' documents pertaining to his work in the Bush I administration. The White House has released some 15,000 documents of approximately 65,000 they say will be released. Democrats are already complaining that they are not enough. 65,000 sounds like a lot to me, but maybe they do not have anything to do with what the Democrats want. Who really knows. Here is the issue: my understanding is that the documents that the Democrats are demanding are those that relate to the first Bush administration, when Roberts was their counsel and represented the White House when taking cases to the supreme court. From what I have gathered, legally speaking (this coming from several legal minds, nonpartisan, that have spoken publicly in the media), the White House has the right to deny the release of these documents because they fall under the attorney-client priviledge. Democratic strategist Paul Begala, CNN correspondent and a fellow longhorn like me, among others, stated so on CNN Inside Politics yesterday. In 1998, Kenneth Starr demanded that the Clinton administration release documents that also could be considered under attorney-client priviledge. They were denied. If the White House has a strong argument, and I believe they do, they should not have to release the documents requested by Democrats. Democrats should accept this, just as they were eager to not release those documents in 1998. There is no double standard here. Review what you already have and what is coming. Work with the Republicans to get as much as you can, but do not risk becoming obstructionists, after all you did lose the elections, congressional and presidential. Swallow your pride and accept your loss. I do not like it either, but at least I can stand in the middle and make some sense about what is going on, not take sides.
Distinction between Roberts' released, withheld writings questioned
Bar Assn. Examines Roberts' Credentials
Memos reveal Roberts' strong advocacy for judicial restraint
Democrats, W.House spar on access to Roberts info
Roberts Assures Dem He Won't Be Activist


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about who won the elections, and agree that release of 'requested documents' are against policy and precedence, and I'd further add that as an ancient Longhorn (before at Austin was required), the legislators should legislate and not the Judicial branch...otherwise what is this nonsense about check-n-balances.

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