Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Roberts’
Nomination

The Roberts’ Nomination

Although George Bush had the opportunity to nominate a woman for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the resignation of Sandra Day O’Conner, instead he chose to nominate a man who on the surface seems to be bullet proof. John Roberts certainly has the intellectual qualifications to serve as an associate justice on the Court, and his scanty judicial rulings offer little to judge how he might rule on critical cases such as the abortion issue. One could suspect that he was chosen for that very reason, especially since the White House has decided not to release documents concerning key cases litigated by the Solicitor General’s office. Roberts was the political deputy to then-Solicitor General Ken Starr during the Reagan Administration and these documents could be much more revealing as to his judicial philosophy.

All 8 Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee have requested these documents and there is plenty of precedent to support that they be released. In fact, there is really no basis for this denial. Such documents have been released in previous Supreme Court nominations including the nominations of Robert Bork and the current Chief Justice, William Rehnquist. Why is the White House stonewalling this request? Perhaps there is food for the grist mill in these documents which the White House doesn’t want to be revealed especially since the information about Roberts’ record that has already been released is very troubling.

Reproductive Freedom: Roberts urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

Voting Rights: Roberts helped promote the Reagan administration’s efforts to severely limit the circumstances under which minorities could bring suit under the Voting Rights Act

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Access to Justice: Roberts argued that Congress should strip the Supreme Court of the authority to rule on cases regarding school prayer, abortion, busing for school desegregation and other issues, a position even more extreme than the Reagan Administration wanted to adopt.

Religious Liberty: Roberts argued against clear First Amendment protections for religious liberty and in favor of officially sponsored school prayer at graduations before the Supreme Court, which rejected his argument.


School Desegregation: Roberts argued that Congress could pass a law preventing all federal courts from ordering busing to achieve school desegregation under any circumstances, apposition even more extreme than advanced by the Reagan Administration.

These are but a few of the many examples which have come to light regarding Roberts’ judicial philosophy. Remember, Bush said he admired Justices such as Thomas and Scalia and promised to nominate people who had their judicial philosophy. Roberts just may be such a nominee: He could be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that is why Bush has refused to release the Solicitor General documents.

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