Ed Week writes-up the education angle of the Roberts nomination which is actually pretty pedestrian — there are bigger fish to fry in terms of his legal views and potential impact on the court than his edupolicy thinking.
But, there is a buried lede: Just a few years ago NSBA supported his nomination (pdf) to the federal bench, now they’re not taking a position but still have a “favorable” view of him:
Others who have sifted through materials on Judge Roberts argue that one should be wary of drawing strong conclusions about his personal legal views.
“I would take these things with a grain of salt,” Tom Hutton, a lawyer for the National School Boards Association, in Alexandria, Va., said in reference to the nominee’s paper trail.
The NSBA often submits friend-of-the-court briefs on education-related cases before the Supreme Court, and it endorsed Mr. Roberts in 2003 when he was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in Washington. The NSBA is not taking a formal position this time, but Mr. Hutton said it stands by its favorable opinion of the nominee.
Why not take a position now? This is a pretty important nomination, even more so with the death of Rehnquist and NSBA with their respected legal department is arguably the best qualified education advocacy group to send a signal about the nominee from at least that perspective. Obvious answer is because the above position would enrage PFAW, NEA, et. al. and NSBA is taking a dive (’cause surely Roberts didn’t do anything “unfavorable” or of particular import on education in the last two years)….but perhaps there is another reason Eduwonk’s overlooking….Boardbuzz, enlighten us?
Update: NSBA the tease? A reader sends along this and this (which is wildly off-message — “Socrates wrote that a judge should have four characteristics—’to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly, and to decide impartially.’ We are confident that Mr. Roberts possesses all of these attributes.” )…Good grief, NSBA really likes this guy but won’t commit? The conservatives aren’t this easy…
Update II: Boardbuzz responds but this response pretty much says it all…so much for the other reason theory….And, wrapping themselves in Katrina is pretty tacky…