Saturday, July 23, 2005

Questions For Judge Roberts

National Review Online released a list of questions that Senator Schumer reportedly wishes to ask Judge Roberts during the judiciary committee hearings. They center around the judge's ideology rather than his "character" or "personal life," which I think is pretty cool. Among the questions, here are some of the ones I found interesting:

  • When does speech cross the line between Constitutionally protected free expression and slander?
  • Can Government regulate hate speech? What about sexually explicit materials?
  • Must the Government avoid involvement with religion as a whole, or is the prohibition just on Government involvement with any specific religion?
  • What is your view of the Supreme Court's opinion in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000), which held that prayer in public schools is prohibited even where it is student-organized, non-denominational, and at a football game?
  • What do you believe is the extent of Congress's authority to legislate under the Commerce Clause? (heh, heh)
  • Under what circumstances is it appropriate for the Supreme Court to overturn a well-settled precedent, upon which Americans have come to rely?
  • Do you agree with the 1986 decision in which the Supreme Court held that states could criminalize private sex acts between consenting adults (Bowers v. Hardwick), or do you agree with the later 2003 decision, which held that the states could not (Lawrence v. Texas)? Was the Court right to overturn its precedent 17 years later? Why or why not?
  • The word "privacy" is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. In your view, does that mean it is wrong for the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution as conferring such a right?
  • Once the right to privacy has been found - as in Griswold and Roe - under what circumstances should the Supreme Court revisit that right? (knew that would be in there, right?)
  • Under the Constitution, how far can the states go in enacting laws to protect the environment, and does it matter whether there is federal legislation on the same subject?
  • How do you define judicial activism? Give us three examples of Supreme Court cases that you consider the product of judicial activism.
  • Do parents have a Due Process right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children, as the Supreme Court held in Troxel v. Granville (2000)?
There were also questions about Judge Robert's specific judging ideology, which I found rather intriguing:
  • Do you describe yourself as falling into any particular school of judicial philosophy?
  • What is your view of "strict constructionism"?
  • What is your view of the notion of "original intent"? "Original meaning"?
  • How do you square the notion of respecting "original intent" with the acceptance of the institution of slavery at the time the Constitution was adopted?
However, my favorite question was this one:
  • When the Supreme Court issues non-unanimous opinions, Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg frequently find themselves in disagreement with each other. Do you more frequently agree with Justice Scalia's opinions, or Justice Ginsburg's? (hahahaha.)


Blogger Tony said...

After reading Roberts' testimony from the DC circuit court appointment hearings, I have the feeling he won't be answering a lot of those questions the way Schumer would like... (as in not answering them at all). So it should make for an entertaining display.

10:35 PM  
Blogger See Jay run said...

I recommend this essay for illumination of the role of ideological litmus tests. Roger Pilon is a master in the field of Constitutional law, interpretation, etc.

11:39 AM  

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