Friday, July 22, 2005

Nice, Reasonable, Conservative

If this case (U.S. v. Jackson) is any indicator, then I think Judge Roberts will make a fine Supreme Court Justice. It's conservative, to be sure. But it's also very rational, persuasively argued, and well-written.

Like Professor Kerr, I thought this case was quite close. Could go either way. The mark of a superb justice is one who can cogently explain the reasons for their decision (in a dissent, no less) in a case in which rational persons might differ on the result. Here, Judge Roberts performed exceptionally.

UPDATE: Haha. Althouse brings us the start of Judge Roberts' opinion in Consumers Energy Company v. Federal Energy Commission, 367 F.3d 915 (2004):
It was a close thing, but Benedict Arnold's bold plan to capture Canada for the Revolution fell short at the Battle of Quebec in early 1776. As a result, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must now decide when affiliates of Canadian utilities -- utilities not subject to FERC jurisdiction -- may sell power at market-based rates in the United States.

Add that one to Roberts' legendary line about "the hapless toad which, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California" (I'd give the context, except I've discovered it completely ruins the incredibly poetry of the phrase).

6 comments:

N.S.T said...

"It's conservative, to be sure. But it's also very rational, persuasively argued, and well-written."

Your point being...that conservativism is the antithesis of reason, persuasiveness and literary skill?

David Schraub said...

No...that would be the precise opposite of the point I'm making. That conservatism is perfectly consistent with reason, persuasiveness and literary skill, as Roberts demonstrates.

It's not my fault that Tom DeLay et al seem determined to prove otherwise, and make it necessary to point out the exceptions...

N.S.T said...

Oh, I get it. I see where you're going. A movement is defined by its exceptions

jack said...

Hahaha. I was gonna recomend that you read the decision Dave. But I should have guest that bloggers would be all over it and you probably read everything out of :-)the 13th.

Nick, since when is Conservatism a "movement"? Its the exact antithesis of.

jack said...

...Er I'm not sure how the smily face got in there...

N.S.T said...

Then what is conservatism Jack? How would you characterize it?