John Roberts Umpire Tryout: Day Three

Roberts meeting SpecterWell, our coverage yesterday was more on the light-hearted side, so let’s take a deeper look at the confirmation process today (we’ll leave the heavy vetting to Wonkette). More serious coverage availiable at SCOTUSblog.

Most importantly, Roberts answered the question on every property owner’s mind: what are his thoughts on the government taking your property and giving it to another private entity. To keep with the baseball analogies, he smashed it out of the park:

“This body and legislative bodies in the states are protectors of the people’s rights,” Roberts said on the third day of his confirmation hearings.

Congress has been working on legislation that would ban the use of federal funds for any project that gets a go-ahead relying on the Kelo v. City of New London, Conn., decision.

“It’s not simply a question of legislating to address particular needs, but you obviously have to also be cognizant of the people’s rights and you can protect them in situations where the court has determined, as it did 5-4 in Kelo, that they are not going to draw that line,” Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“This body and legislative bodies in the states are protectors of the people’s rights,” Roberts said on the third day of his confirmation hearings.

So far Roberts can toe the libertarian line on the roles of the three branches of government, and he’s aptly pointed out that it’s up to Congress to write the laws and for the judiciary to say whether they are Constitutional (and not play judicial activist with bizzare interpretations). That said, Roberts has pretty much tossed this ball back at Congress and told them they need to clarify Amendment V — “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” — possibly in a new amendment ensuring that private property cannot be take for private use either.

Hey, it’s not a perfect solution, and things would have been a hell of a lot better if Kelo had gone the other way, but at least it’s a start.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed