Monday, August 1, 2005 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

A Curious Reading Club, Indeed!

Last week, when the Washington Post's investigative team uncovered that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was listed in a Federalist Society directory from '97-'98, I felt duty bound, as a member of the Society, to point out in a piece that the organization actually gives speakers at its conferences a copy of the Federalist Papers as a token of appreciation. I suggested that perhaps, in connection with the Roberts nomination, the Post might want to explore the deeper meaning of this pratice.

Now, this morning, the Post has uncovered some truly remarkable information concerning Judge Roberts. According to Bruce Fein, he was part of a group at the Justice Department that read and discussed--in addition to the Federalist Papers--books such as Plato's Republic and Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.

I think we are beginning to get on to something here....If we can discover just a few more classics of the same timelessness like those that thus far have been on Judge Roberts' reading list, and if the Senators on the Judiciary Committee engage Judge Roberts in a discourse about the lessons one might take away from these books, we might actually have a useful hearing. We could have a hearing that could educate ourselves broadly about the nature of law and justice, balancing majority rule and individual rights in a democratic republic, and the way in which the ordering of economic affairs affects the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness in any system of governance.

Imagine that book club discussion! Might not rival Oprah's book club for some, or the latest summertime beach book, but, come September, I would not discount the interest of the American people in watching Judge Roberts discuss Plato, Adam Smith, Madison, Hamilton, maybe even Aristotle, John Locke, and Montesquieu, with the likes of Senators Kennedy, Schumer, and company. We could do worse.

By the way, Bruce Fein, who spilled the beans about the curious reading habits of Judge Roberts and his DOJ cohorts, left the DOJ to become General Counsel of the FCC. That's the link to the digital revolution and progress and freedom.

posted by Randolph May @ 9:47 AM |