04 September 2005

An Email from the American Center for Law and Justice

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, sent me this email:
We are saddened by the death of Chief Justice Rehnquist whose tenure leaves an indelible mark on the legal and cultural landscape of this nation.
The Chief Justice served this country with distinction and his tenure as Chief Justice will be remembered for its precision and order. He embraced the political and cultural issues of the day and sought to bring a constitutional understanding that was consistent with the framers of the Constitution.
Chief Justice Rehnquist approached each case with honor and integrity a hallmark that will certainly contribute to his lasting legacy on the court. It has been my privilege to argue regularly before the high court and appear often before the Chief Justice. He agreed with the ACLJ's position in numerous cases including the distribution of religious materials at airports, the creation of student-led Bible clubs on public school campuses, the ability for religious organizations to use public school facilities after hours, the protection of the First Amendment rights for pro-life demonstrators, and ensuring that minors could exercise their First Amendment rights by participating in political campaigns. Chief Justice Rehnquist, who served on the high court for 33 years and as Chief Justice since 1986, clearly understood the importance of the First Amendment protections outlined in the Constitution. His death marks the end of a historic era that spanned decades and saw the high court tackle many of the most significant cultural and political issues of the day. He will be truly missed.
It seems to me, from the information released in the public about Judge John Roberts, that he is more like the late Chief Justice than anyone currently sitting on the SCOTUS. Judge Roberts is young and could potentially lead the Court for a very long time. Of the options open to the President, I favor the one where he withdraws the nomination of Judge Roberts to replace Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, re-nominates him to replace the late Chief Justice as the next Chief Justice of the United States, then nominate someone like Edith Clement to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. A Strict Constructionist for a Strict Constructionist. A woman for a woman. And an honor for the disaster ravaged Gulf Coast as Judge Clement is from the New Orleans area. The President can come out of this a political hero to Conservatives. Because who would oppose Judge Clement now? Any Democrat who does is heartless. And Judge Roberts has the votes on the floor of the Senate to be confirmed without too much trouble. I would urge Senator Specter to move swiftly in his Committee for both nominees. We need to have a full 9 Justices on the SCOTUS in October when the Court opens session.
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Gribbit is a contributing writer at Stop The ACLU and the co-founder and administrator of Stop The ACLU BlogBurst.

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