Leftist Northern California federal district judge Marilyn Hall Patel has written an open letter to John Roberts. (Via How Appealing.) In the letter, she asks him to request his supporters to stop running ads:
The president asked for dignified confirmation proceedings. The very next day the ads began. So much for dignity. Perhaps the president or even the so-called Gang of Fourteen could intercede. But you more than anyone have it in your power to persuade. I am sure that a phone call or a public statement from you imploring cessation of these ads by those who support you would have a puissant effect upon this crass exploitation.
But what about the idea that Judge Roberts’s detractors would continue running ads against him, and would thereby attain a disproportionate influence over the public discourse concerning his nomination? Judge Patel addresses that issue in the next paragraph:
Whether those who oppose you would respond to your entreaties is another question. However, they would be hard pressed to pursue a one-sided campaign. I, and I am sure many of my colleagues would, implore all proponents and opponents to refrain. These groups have never suffered from an inability to reach and influence the Senate. They have the ability to use traditional forms of lobbying and to testify before the Judiciary Committee.
I have emphasized the word “would” for a reason. The tense Judge Patel uses indicates that she has not yet asked anyone to refrain from doing anything. Just as Roberts’s entreaties would sway only conservatives (and probably not even them), entreaties from the famously liberal Judge Patel could not possibly sway anyone but like-minded liberals. But she apparently hasn’t made the request, because she doesn’t want leftists to unilaterally disarm — the exact thing she is asking conservatives to do.
And if I’m wrong, and Judge Patel already has requested leftists to back down — well, it had a hell of an effect, huh?
Sorry, Judge Patel. Conservatives, including Judge Roberts, are not that stupid. But nice try.
P.S. If the nominee were female and the open letter were from a male judge, how would it play for the male judge’s open letter to call the female nominee “easy on the eyes” — as Patel calls Judge Roberts in her letter?