Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Washington Post on Justices Roberts and Alito

Article in the Washington Post -- New Justices Take the Podium, Putting Personalities on Display, by Robert Barnes.  The article notes that both Justices Roberts and Alito recently publicly emphasized the important role of elected officials rather than the courts deciding important questions, suggesting a modest approach to Supreme Court decisionmaking.  It's perhaps too early to tell the extent to which these statements are indicative of judicial deference in their opinons.  Here's an excerpt:

The two newest Supreme Court justices took off the robes and took to the stump last week, providing glimpses of the fresh personalities that will reshape a court that had remained constant for more than a decade.

The settings could not have been more different. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was interviewed before a crowd of 3,000 last Monday night at the University of Miami, and his telegenic message of moderation was then broadcast to the nation on ABC's "Nightline."

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. spoke to his fellow members of the Federalist Society, a coalition of conservative lawyers and legal scholars who have gone from rebel outsiders to Washington insiders -- the group drew 1,500 people to its annual banquet and warranted appearances by administration leaders from Vice President Cheney on down.

Roberts's turn on the stage was the most complete, and it showed that his sure-footed performance in his confirmation hearings, where he left even senators opposed to his conservative philosophy aglow, was no fluke.



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