October 1, 2005 – Hurricane Rita, The Matter Of Wilson, DeLay No Longer Hammer, SCOTUS In The Era Of Roberts
October 1, 2005 – Busy week. Hurricane Rita was busy reeking havoc along the Gulf. Once again, Louisiana was hit hard, though not as hard or as devastating as Rita, it was nothing to sniff at. Texas suffered considerably with fears that Rita would score a direct hit on Houston. Communities were cut off, and even with considerable preparation, there was always the element of surprise. Rita came along and did her worst, and Texas and Louisiana was reeling once again.
Politics and the Press were news – New York Times correspondent Judith Miller was released from 12 weeks in jail and then testified about a possible leak from the government. At issue was whether or not White House officials leaked the name of a CIA undercover operative named Valerie Wilson to Miller. Wilson was married to a former Ambassador who said Bush Administration officials twisted information around to justify the Iraq war. Judith Miller was investigating this and she spoke to a source whom has gone on to be identified as vice-President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff “Scooter” Libby. It wasn’t clear, as of this broadcast, whether or not charges were going to be filed against Libby.
Bad week for Republicans on the Hill. First, it was Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist denying charges he was involved with insider stock trading, putting him under investigation by the SEC and Federal Prosecutors. And then it was Tom Delay, the most powerful figure on the Hill, the House Republican Leader was indicted by a Grand Jury in Texas, forcing him to immediately step aside, as per the House rules. DeLay, having already had several run-ins with the House Ethics committee, was charged with Criminal Conspiracy to evade Texas campaign finance laws. Not only did he deny the charge, he lashed out at the Democratic prosecutor who brought the case, calling it a “Partisan Witch Hunt”.
Meanwhile, Justice John G. Roberts was making his debut as SCOTUS Chief Justice. Sworn in earlier in the week, he was only the 17th Chief Justice to be sworn in after being confirmed by the Senate in a vote of 78-22; exactly half the Democrats voted for Roberts. In turn, Roberts viewed the vote as confirmation that Judging was different from Politics. Observers noted that Roberts would be hitting the ground running, with no time to “settle in”. The first case to be heard was the one about Assisted Suicide.
All that, and a whole lot more, by way of CBS Radio’s Weekend Roundup for October 1, 2005.