Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Roberts

For what it's worth: A few years ago, Justice Scalia said to a friend of mine that he and other Justices thought of John Roberts as far and away the best Supreme Court litigator in the country. I asked the friend why Justice Scalia said that, and (paraphrasing from my memory) the answer was something like this: "No matter how intense the questioning, Roberts is never flustered, and is always able to calmly answer any question whatsoever, while skillfully weaving in the substantive points that he wanted to make in the first place."

UPDATE: Ted Cruz points out that Chief Justice Rehnquist has expressed similar sentiments.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Bush hit a home-run by selecting Roberts. Now, for the Chief's job when he retires, he can appoint a woman. That way he gets to shape the Court in two ways. With JR and then a Woman as a Chief. Hilly baby is crying tonight...

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Clark Coleman said...

I think the anonymous comment reflects a common misunderstanding. When Rehnquist retires, the replacement is not necessarily Chief Justice. Why would a newcomer be Chief Justice? Rather, first Bush would nominate Thomas or Scalia to be Chief Justice, and the next nomination would be for a newcomer to simply serve as a Justice.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Beldar said...

No, actually, when Rehnquist retires, it will be from the position of "Chief Justice of the United States," and his replacement will indeed take that same position. His replacement might or might not be someone who's currently an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; if it is, that would open another Associate Justice spot.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, Bush will be able to choose. He came nominate someone for "chief justice" or nominate a regular justice, and nominate one of the other 8 to be chief justice.

Thomas has already said he does not want the job, as it would involve another confirmation hearing, and he hated the first one. So it would probably be Scalia or the new guy.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Exguru said...

The new guy is a natural to rise to Chief, either right away or down the road. My hope is that Bush will appoint Janice Rogers Brown or P. Owens or Edith Clement for the Rehnquist slot. My further hope is somebody else retires before 2009. They are all (except Thomas) of more than retirement age. Any of them could get sick, too. Buch could get four pulls fairly easily.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the other anonymous, 'a woman as a chief'

I'm just picking on you because I hear it so often and it drives me crazy.

How bout 'the most qualified for the job' instead of a 'woman'. Affirmative action stinks, stop perpetuating the concept.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Reg Jones said...

Quick little story,

During "Bush v. Gore" I asked a friend who clerked for Scalia what he thought of the lawyers involved.

He thought dropping Tribe in favor of Boies for the Supreme Court argument was a big mistake.

When I asked if he could pick one person to argue a case before the Court he answered, "John Roberts, without question."

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if Prof. Larry Tribe is still arguing cases before the Court, but the couple of times I saw him he was just like that - he could stop on a dime, answer the Justice's question perfectly, and return to his argument without missing a beat. Obviously preparation is a big part of that. I read somewhere that in preparing for one argument, Roberts prepared a list of 500 possible questions that the Court might ask.

11:59 AM  
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