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September 23, 2005

Criminal justice in Roberts' written testimony

Yesterday I noted in this post a WSJ article on Judge Roberts' written responses to follow-up questions from last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.  The article's lead asserted that, through his written responses, Roberts "cast doubt on a 1958 Supreme Court precedent that underpins recent rulings finding the execution of juvenile offenders and the mentally retarded to be unconstitutional."  Thanks now to this page at the Washington Post, you can access here the Q&A on the Eighth Amendment and see that the WSJ seems to be trying to milk a story from a pretty milquetoast answer from Judge Roberts.

A bigger story in the written follow-ups, at least by my lights, is that Senator Kennedy used this forum to finally ask some pointed questions about the criminal justice system.  At pages 6 to 22 in these written questions, Senator Kennedy asks a number of very good questions about criminal sentencing, mandatory minimums, Booker and the death penalty.  Unfortunately, Judge Roberts largely avoid answering the toughest questions and simply restates existing SCOTUS precedent in response to others.  It is a shame some of these issues were not brought up in the live hearing, where they would have gotten more press attention and would have forced Judge Roberts to be at least a bit more forthcoming.

September 23, 2005 at 08:22 AM | Permalink


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