Democrats Holding Off on Roberts

The Democrats don’t like John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court, but they doubt whether there is anything they can do about it. That’s the message I take away from this story in today’s Washington Times:

Conservative groups are eager to spend their $20 million war chest to support Judge John G. Roberts Jr.’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but the main liberal groups have not decided whether to wage an all-out fight over the nomination.
Most liberal groups, meanwhile, have expressed serious concerns about Judge Roberts, but haven’t taken a public stance of opposition.

As well as this one:

Key Senate Democrats say John Roberts won’t get a “free pass” to a seat on the Supreme Court, while acknowledging that there is little chance they will filibuster the nomination.

The Democrats’ strategy seems to be to keep their powder dry in case Roberts somehow stumbles in his confirmation hearing. Too, they will ask for documents, including memos written by Roberts when he was a deputy solicitor general. We’ve been down that path before; as I recall, every living former Solicitor General has already written a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee explaining why that would be a bad thing. My guess is the Democrats will roil the waters a little, try to bloody Roberts’ reputation with questions and document requests that can’t properly be responded to, vote against him in committee, but not make any serious effort to stop him on the Senate floor.

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