“Captain of the Football Team”: Is this the Homecoming Court or the Supreme Court?

Phoebe Connelly

Over at TomPaine, E.J. Graff is a good start to a morning of Roberts-mania with her analysis of what role Supreme Court decisions play in social and cultural debates: The Supreme Court is one power outlet among many in our nation's public policy electricity grid. If Roberts tilts the court further to the right, progressive advocates will just have to find other ways to win.Few non-lawyers realize that, for more than two hundred years, the court has constantly been shifting its job description. … always they are in intimate conversation with their era, batting beliefs back and forth with the Congress, the president, the media, organizations and the general public climate. And not one of them has had the final say.Several bloggers have picked up on my first thought, that the timing of this announcement nicely supplants Karl Rove in the headlines. The Village Voice was on it yesterday: Of course, in information warfare, timing is everything, and the Bush White House is a synchronized machine. No surprise, then, that the name of the Supreme Court nominee is going out in prime time tonight. What better way to get the Karl Rove story off the top of the news broadcasts or the front pages of tomorrow's papers.As for a concise summing up of the nominee, try Robert W. Gordon's over at TalkingPointsMemo Cafe. Ah, Roberts is an institutional player.But the Chicago Tribune really wraps it up nicely for me, with this sidebar on his positions, particularly this one: MILITARY TRIBUNALS: Roberts was part of a unanimous decision last week that allowed the Pentagon to proceed with plans to use military tribunals to try terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay.Look, even his kid seems a little freaked out.

Phoebe Connelly, a former managing editor at In These Times, is Web Editor at The American Prospect.
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