As I explained in this post: Roberts, the ultimate rope-a-dope?, opposition to someone as highly qualified as Roberts is a foolish political strategy.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday that he intends to oppose confirmation of John Roberts (search) as chief justice of the Supreme Court.
'I intend to cast my vote against the nomination when the Senate meets here next week,' Reid said on the Senate floor.
'For me, Mr. President, this is a very close question. But I must resolve my doubts in favor of the American people, whose rights would be in jeopardy if John Roberts turns out to be the wrong person for this job,' he said.
Democrats can go on all day about how they are voting 'no' because they are 'unsure'. Politically, they cannot prevent this nomination so all they have is the court of public opinion to rely on. People won't remember the reason you gave, they will simply remember whether you voted 'no' or voted 'yes'.
So if we get Janice Roberts Brown nominated next, and the Democrats vote against her as well (which I could certainly understand, even if I disagree) then the perception in the American mind will be not that Brown was bad, but that she was pretty much like Roberts. The perception will also be that the Democrats were simply obstructionist.
The only thing that could be better, if Bush really does want to appoint a very conservative person to the bench, is if the Democrats filibustered Roberts. It doesn't look like they will be that dopey however.