Here's the Stupidest Reason for Opposing Roberts
Is Richard Cohen really serious
with this?I sometimes think the best thing that ever happened to me was, at the time, the worst: I flunked out of college. I did so for the usual reasons -- painfully bored with school and distracted by life itself -- and so I went to work for an insurance company while I plowed ahead at night school. From there I went into the Army, emerging with a storehouse of anecdotes. In retrospect, I learned more by failing than I ever would have by succeeding. I wish that John Roberts had a touch of my incompetence.
Instead, the nominee for chief justice of the United States punched every career ticket right on schedule. He was raised in affluence, educated in private schools, dispatched to Harvard and then to Harvard Law School. He clerked for a U.S. appellate judge (the storied Henry J. Friendly) and later for William H. Rehnquist, then an associate justice. Roberts worked in the Justice Department and then in the White House until moving on to Hogan & Hartson, one of Washington's most prestigious law firms; then he was principal deputy solicitor general, before moving to the bench, where he has served for only two years. His record is appallingly free of failure.
Back in the 1970s Harold Carswell was nominated by Nixon to the Supreme Court. When people claimed he was a mediocre judge, Senator Roman Hruska
of Nebraska famously remarked something along the lines of "So what if he's mediocre? Mediocre people deserve representation, too!"
As endorsements go, it was not very succesful, and Carswell's nomination was defeated. This column by Cohen is nearly as silly in its efforts to derail Roberts, and I suspect he will be confirmed easily.