In the midst of Republicans’ frustrations of Senate Democratic filibusters of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, the Bush administration scrambled to find a judicial nominee who could make it through the now rough confirmation process but be an acceptable choice to conservatives.
Roberts appeared harmless enough, but conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter cautioned her readers in a July 2005 column that Roberts could very well turn out to be a disappointment like Souter, O’Connor, and Kennedy. (bolding is mine)
“After pretending to consider various women and minorities for the Supreme Court these past few weeks, President Bush decided to disappoint all the groups he had just ginned up and nominate a white male.
So all we know about him for sure is that he can’t dance and he probably doesn’t know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah … We also know he’s argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney.
But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.
Since the announcement, court-watchers have been like the old Kremlinologists from Soviet days looking for clues as to what kind of justice Roberts will be. Will he let us vote?
Does he live in a small, rough-hewn cabin in the woods of New Hampshire and avoid “womenfolk”?
Does he trust democracy? Or will he make all the important decisions for us and call them “constitutional rights”?
It means absolutely nothing that NARAL and Planned Parenthood attack him: They also attacked Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Hackett Souter.”
Coulter stressed the historical problem with whisking through these “blank slate” type “stealth” nominees. It appears in Roberts case, according to Coulter, that he was more career driven and wanted to be on the high court more than anything else. One of the ways he accomplished this, writes Coulter, was by keeping his personal opinions to himself throughout his career up until his confirmation. Coulter recently tweeted, since Justice Roberts sided with the liberal half of the court on the recent Obamacare decision, that Roberts would “go down in history as the Warren Burger of the 21st Century.”
Conservatives should begin demanding much more from judicial nominees that appear a little too mysterious at first glance regardless of the president who did the appointment. Blank slates and stealth nominee appointments are not acceptable anymore.