Sunday, August 07, 2005

Just How Non-Liberal is John Roberts?

Well, let's take a look at some items (via
ABORTION: Wife is strongly pro-life, Finds no support for abortion rights in Constitution, Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, Prohibit family-planning programs from giving abortion info, OK for Operation Rescue to target abortion clinics, Roe v. Wade is settled law, Doctors who get federal fund may not mention abortion, Limit funding for abortion clinics. (Well, his position on choice seems fairly definitive, esp. since despite his attempts to evade, he is a prominent member of the Federalist Society, which is against choice).

CIVIL RIGHTS: No paper trail as a judge on gay rights issues (however, word is out he did some pro bono work in favor of a gay rights group; note that like Bolton, Roberts did not list this work on Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire (that asked for examples of his pro bono work); another case of "I forgot."), OK for religious groups to meet at schools, Opposed simplifying complaints against voting rights, Against Affirmative Action, Weaken the separation of church and state. (The fact he left the pro-gay rights pro bono work off the Senate questionnaire is telling. Combine that with his opposition to simplifying complaints re voter rights (!!) and I think you get the picture.)

CORPORATE INTERESTS: Whistleblowers can be fired for cause, and the following is all you need to know: "'If business had serious objections to him, he wouldn't have been nominated,' said Greg Valliere, political economist with Stanford Washington Research Group. In fact, the Bush administration reportedly did go over its potential nominees with business groups...."

CRIME: OK to prosecute for eating french fries on city trains. (The Senate should ask him 1) his opinions on how he would rule if the Plame/Rove case ever got to him as a judge, and 2) what his opinions are on the various white collar crimes we've seen over the last few years.)

DRUGS: OK to search cars without particular evidence in mind. (Hmm, no privacy concerns or rights violation concerns there -- jives with Fed. Society's belief that women don't have a right to privacy when it comes to choice re abortion. Oh, but Roberts ruled Cheney had a "right to privacy" when it came to keeping that list of energy companies secret....).

ENVIRONMENT: Allow development despite local endangered species, No lawsuits to prevent mining on federal land, Species within one state not protected by federal law. (Not much to go on but look, GW chose him -- nuf said.)

WAR: As student during Vietnam, disturbed by anti-war protests.
As we know, many subject headings not shown above remain blank, or big question marks, and this mystery is by design. GW/Rove did not want to select someone with a well-defined paper trail of partisan bias. Rather, they came up with a stealth candidate that off-the-record had the make-up and positions they were looking for without the on-record baggage.

Could Roberts be another Souter in waiting? Perhaps, but make no mistake: thanks to Souter, this administration will make darn certain that their choice will not over time drift towards judicial reason and sanity and a desire for fairness.

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