July 20th, 2005


the nominee is

the History Channel recently showed a series on the founding fathers. been trying to locate a particular quote in the series by John Adams. first, Adams role in the Boston Massacre Trials seems to provide the lawyerly mold of a strong & adequate defense regardless of persuasion.

John Adams, in his old age, called his defense of British soldiers in 1770 "[The Part I took in Defense of Captain Preston and the Soldiers, procured me Anxiety, and Obloquy enough. It was, however,] one of the most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country." That's quite a statement, coming as it does from perhaps the most underappreciated great man in American history. The day after British soldiers mortally wounded five Americans on a cobbled square in Boston, thirty-four-year-old Adams was visted in his office near the stairs of the Town Office by a Boston merchant , James Forest. "With tears streaming from his eyes" (according to the recollection of Adams), Forest asked Adams to defend the soldiers and their captain, Thomas Preston. Adams understood that taking the case would not only subject him to criticism, but might jeopardize his legal practice or even risk the safety of himself and his family. But Adams believed deeply that every person deserved a defense, and he took on the case without hesitation. For his efforts, he would receive the modest sum of eighteen guineas. {Key Figures in the Boston Massacre Trials}

concerning the nomination of John G. Roberts, Jr. i trust he is able to know the difference between the law, persuasion & public opinion. as an american citizen i respect his & his wife's right to privacy. any personal activities, beliefs or opinions concerning Judge & Mrs. Roberts does not concern me.

while i appreciate the one-note wonders of constitutional rights i'm more concerned with groups unable to secure basic rights: gays, minorities, labor & immigrants. placing a higher priority on voting & property rights versus owning a gun or getting an abortion. i would have more sympathy for those against a woman's right to personal liberty if they could take their leadership & millions of partisan dollars & end world hunger in five years. until then, i consider these groups mindless hypocritical pharisees.

and it is not the president's legacy when he gets to choose a nominee to the supreme court. it is the legacy of the american constitution & the american people. the supreme court is not a popularity contest where the current majority party gets to place its partisan sash on the american constitution & parade it around like Miss Congeniality.

i have considered the opinion & analysis of many people i respect — some newly born in the blogosphere. i trust their ability to define the pertinent issues & provide good judgement so we all can determine Roberts' qualifications & suitability & obtain confirmation by the October session. if confirmed i expect he will honor his obligation & duty to uphold the constitution. however, Justice O'Connor's response is correct. the next supreme court justice will be a woman.

btw, the quote i was looking for appears in Adams summation describing the crowd on 05-March-1770 as "a motley rabble of saucy boys, Negroes and mulattos, Irish teagues and outlandish jack tarrs". gosh, kinda sounds all-american.