ThinkProgress offers 2 Questions
(1) Who would you name as liberal judges who are as far to the left as John Roberts is to the right? This is a tough one, both because Clinton did not nominate that many truly liberal federal judges and because Roberts is so conservative that he appears to think that Congress does not have the power to regulate plainly commercial conduct that harms endangered species. Marcia Berzon? Guido Calabresi? Stephen Reinhardt? Betty Fletcher? Others?
(2) Do you doubt for a moment that, if the roles were reversed and a Democrat president nominated a judge, however qualified, who was as liberal as Roberts is conservative to replace Justice O’Connor, a Republican minority in the Senate would hestitate to use whatever procedural means were at its disposal to block that nomination? My take on it is this: There’s no question that Roberts is one smart, capable lawyer. But excellent qualifications didn’t stop Republicans from blocking any number of qualified Clinton appointees to the Court of Appeals. Remember these folks? And Clinton only avoided similar fates for his two nominees to the Supreme Court by nominating relative moderates who were recommended to him by none other than Orrin Hatch. In his memoirs, Hatch said of Breyer and Ginsburg that “they were far better than the other likely candidates from a liberal Democrat administration.” I don’t think the same can be said of Roberts.