Friday, July 22, 2005

Roberts Expected to Be Friendly to Business

I’ve often discussed the differences between the pro-business and social conservatives and have noted that O’Connor appeared more moderate than current Republicans as she was a gift from Ronald Reagan to the business community as opposed to the religious right.

The Kiplinger Letter also considers John Roberts to be friendly to business:

John Roberts won’t be a justice who always sides with business. But he will most of the time, reliably backing companies in labor relations disputes and limiting the reach of regulators. He’s also likely to try to rein in many class-action lawsuits and to favor uniform national standards over individual state rules.

Roberts understands business’s problems…the daily travails plus what it’s like to compete in the local or global marketplace. A former corporate lawyer, Roberts is as comfortable in the boardroom as he is in the courtroom. He has represented scores of companies, from automakers to HMOs to high-technology pioneers in Silicon Valley.

That’s enough to win the endorsement of key business groups. They will support him but be careful not to show too much enthusiasm, lest it arouse suspicion that he’ll be a tool of business interests.

Roberts will be easily confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, despite the opposition of some Democrats and any number of groups championing one social issue or another. Hearings will be exhaustive, and there’ll be complaints when Roberts refuses to get very specific about where he’d come down on individual cases or hot-button issues such as abortion. But there’s no real doubt about the outcome.

Their description sounds quite a bit like the description of O’Connor I discussed previously with regards to business interests. Until the hearings, when hopefully we will receive some answers as to Roberts’ beliefs, we will not know if he is really similar to O’Connor. That would be far preferable to a social conservative who would act to reduce our liberties. Roberts has represented socially conservative positions as an attorney, but it is unclear to what degree he would support overturning existing law on the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, even if Roberts holds positions similar to those of O’Connor on economic issues, there is no guarantee that Bush didn’t come up with a stealth candidate who will also push the goals of social conservatives.


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