Monday, September 26, 2005

Ben Nelson's Big (but easy) Gamble

by Kyle Michaelis
Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Don Walton devoted a bit of today's column to Senator Ben Nelson's reasoning for supporting John Roberts's nomination to replace William Rehnquist on the Supreme Court.

Nelson provides an altogether dismaying explanation, demonstrating he recognizes that Roberts has expertly ducked and dodged his way through the confirmation process without revealing who he is and what he stands for. Yet, Nelson is willing to risk the next three decades of American jurisprudence on an ill-founded hope that anyone with eyes and ears open these last 5 years should have learned not to trust the Bush Administration with.

Some lessons can't be learned soon enough. Some obviously can't be learned at all. See for yourself:
Lost in the shuffle last week were Sen. Ben Nelson's remarks in announcing his decision to vote to confirm the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

It was not an unexpected decision, but here is some of the reasoning.

"Only time will tell where Judge Roberts will come down on the prevailing legal matters that come before the Roberts Court.

"I can only take him at his word that he will approach his role on the court without a pre-determined agenda, without activism, and with only the intention to balance the scales of justice for all Americans."

The terms Nelson uses above suggest he understands what's at stake, so his refusal to hold a higher standard of disclosure and good faith on the part of a Supreme Court nominee is dumb-founding.

In experience and knowledge, Roberts is a highly-qualified individual, but this nation deserves an accounting for the man's values and a glimpse at his humanity before granting him this incredible responsibility to uphold the Constitution as a reflection of American character and ideals.

It should take more than preparation and a quick wit to meet the Senate's responsibility to provide informed consent. Who is John Roberts? I don't know, and it's clear Nelson doesn't either.

Is this a failure of conscience, a failure of will, or just politics as usual? Anyone care to venture an opinion?


Post a Comment

<< Home