Friday, September 16, 2005

Two different views on what justice is.

They're trying to set up the notion that this guy (John Roberts) is too slick. So Turban, [Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)], says, "I said at the outset that I thought one of the real measures as to whether or not you should be on a court goes back to a point Senator Simon had made: 'Would you restrict freedom in America or would you expand it?'" Now, you people on the left -- well, everybody -- I want you to listen to this question; I want you to listen to this answer, because this is the best education on what the role of a judge and the court is that you will ever hear, outside of from me, because here's Durbin saying, "Would you restrict freedom in America or would you expand it? When you are defending gays and lesbians who are being restricted in their rights by the Colorado amendment, you were trying from my point of view to expand freedom. That to me is a positive thing. That's my personal philosophy and point of view. But then, when you say if the state would have walked in the door first to restrict freedoms, I would have taken them as a client, too, I wonder, where are you? Beyond loyalty to the process of law, how do you view this law when it comes to expanding our personal freedom? It is important enough for you to say in some instances, 'I won't use my skills as a lawyer because I don't believe that that's a cause consistent with my values and beliefs.' That's what I'm asking." So he's asking, "Will you punt? Will you punt on your view of the law and stand up for the downtrodden and the minorities in this country who don't have a chance because the way this country is put together? Will you put aside what you think the law says, and give those people a break?" And here's the answer.

ROBERTS: I had someone ask me in this process, I don't remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, "Are you going to be on the side of the little guy," and you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy is going to win because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath. The oath that a judge takes is not that I'll look out for particular interests; I'll be on the side of particular interests. The oath is to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that's what I would do.

This is an excerpt from Rush Transcript: Judge John G. Roberts Jr. hearing, Day Four Friday, September 16, 2005

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