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September 2005
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Supreme Court chatter

As John Roberts’ confirmation hearings begin, here are a few Supreme tidbits:
“bullet” Jack Shafer discusses the late Chief Justice Rehnquist’s drug addiction to placidyl.
“bullet” From Grits for Breakfast, a reminder that Roberts appears to not be much of a friend to the Fourth Amendment.

…during his brief tenure on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He upheld the government’s search or seizure every time….

“bullet” On the other hand, I found this particular section of John Roberts’ opening statement intriguing, although I can’t say how much it means to us:

Mr. Chairman, when I worked in the Department of Justice, in the office of the solicitor general, it was my job to argue cases for the United States before the Supreme court.
I always found it very moving to stand before the justices and say, “I speak for my country.”
But it was after I left the department and began arguing cases against the United States that I fully appreciated the importance of the Supreme Court and our constitutional system.
Here was the United States, the most powerful entity in the world, aligned against my client. And yet, all I had to do was convince the court that I was right on the law and the government was wrong and all that power and might would recede in deference to the rule of law.
That is a remarkable thing.
It is what we mean when we say that we are a government of laws and not of men. It is that rule of law that protects the rights and liberties of all Americans. It is the envy of the world. Because without the rule of law, any rights are meaningless.

Fascinating.

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