The long-awaited Senate confirmation hearings for John G. Roberts finally got under way Monday. No one is sure how long the hearings will last. The Supreme Court begins its new session on the first Monday in October, so presumably, Roberts will be sworn in as chief justice before then. His confirmation is assured. The question is how much of a circus atmosphere Senate Democrats and the far left will create over the next few weeks.
Judging from the antics of circus clowns like Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, Russell Feingold and "Daffy" Dick Durbin, the Senate Big Top will be in town for an extended run. But in the end, Roberts will be sworn in as the next chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The Senate has rejected just three nominees to the high court in the last 40 years. Roberts will be confirmed because Republicans control the Senate and Roberts is as qualified a candidate as you will find. The American Bar Association, one of the few non-partisan organizations left in this country, has already reviewed Robertsí credentials and found him "highly qualified" to serve on the Supreme Court.
The debate comes down to whether you listen to his peers or Ted Kennedy to determine whether Roberts would be fit to serve as chief justice ó possibly for the next 30 years.
The far left has already spent millions of dollars in a smear campaign against Roberts and even got caught distorting Robertsí record on abortion in its attempt to rally liberals in the Senate. It didnít work. About the best the left could dig up on Roberts is that he didnít color within the lines in first grade art class.
Now that Cindy Sheehan is but a memory, the angry left will shift its propaganda machine to the confirmation hearings, but what we wonít see happen is the "Borking" of John G. Roberts.
Robert H. Bork is arguably the greatest legal mind of the second half of the 20th century. He should be chief justice of the Supreme Court today, but Bork was denied a spot on the court by obstructionist Democrats (yes, they were around 25 years ago). Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, but was rejected by Democrats, who controlled the Senate, in 58-42 vote. The term "Borked" has entered the political vocabulary. Itís synonymous with smear campaign and witch-hunt.
Reaganís second choice for the court was a guy who smoked marijuana as a young man and was forced to withdraw his name from consideration. A few years later, smoking pot would not be a hindrance to Bill Clinton, who admitted he smoked pot but "never inhaled" on his way to eight years in the White House.
In place of Bork and that other guy whose name nobody remembers, Reagan went to his third choice: Anthony Kennedy. Yes, that very same Anthony Kennedy who has proven to be the pivotal swing vote in some of the dumbest decisions the court has handed down in the last 17 years. In hindsight, the pot smoker would have been a better choice.
Democrats and the angry left want another radical lapdog like Ruth Bader Ginsburg (former chief counsel for the ACLU) or a David Souter (who doesnít stand for anything) on the Supreme Court.Thatís why the confirmation of Roberts is so important. The court has tipped so far to the left, itís about to fall off a cliff.
"The left wing of the Democratic Party relies upon the fact that they can get courts to legislate much more liberal laws than they can get through Congress or state legislatures."
ó Judge Robert H. Bork
A majority of Americans reelected George W. Bush with the understanding that Bush would appoint conservatives to the federal bench. The Constitution gives the president the authority to appoint members of the Supreme Court. The president ran on a platform of nominating justices who would interpret the Constitution as it was written, not as a living, breathing document subject to the whims of elitists. The Senate (as well as the House) is in Republican hands. The Supreme Court is finally headed in the right direction. Thatís the way the American electorate wants it.
"Were our forefathers to view the American federal government of the 21st century, I believe theyíd be appalled. Activist judges have taken over school systems, prisons, private-sector hiring and firing practices, and farm quotas; they have ordered local governments to raise property taxes and states to grant benefits to illegal immigrants; they have expelled God, prayer, and the Ten Commandments from the public square; theyíve endorsed severe limits on political speech; and theyíve protected virtual child pornography, racial discrimination in law school admissions, flag burning, the seizure of private property without just compensation, and partial-birth abortion. Theyíve announced that morality alone is an insufficient basis for legislation. Courts now second-guess the commander in chief in time of war and confer due process rights on foreign enemy combatants. They intervene in the electoral process."
ó Mark R. Levin, author of "Men in Black"
The confirmation of Judge Roberts will be another reminder to the Democrats that Americans no longer trust them with the leadership of this country.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas