CommunityPam's House Blend

Well, it's Roberts

Heinous. The usual DC fake-out. I guess they wanted to have folks waste time over Clement and then drop this bomb.

From the Alliance for Justice‘s brief opposing the confirmation of John G. Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.:

John G. Roberts, nominated by President Bush to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has a record of hostility to the rights of women and minorities. He has also taken controversial positions in favor of weakening the separation of church and state and limiting the role of federal courts in protecting the environment.

While working under Presidents Reagan and Bush, Mr. Roberts supported a hard-line, anti-civil rights policy that opposed affirmative action, would have made it nearly impossible for minorities to prove a violation of the Voting Rights Act and would have “resegregated” America’s public schools. He also took strongly anti-choice positions in two Supreme Court cases, one that severely restricted the ability of poor women to gain information about abortion services, and another that took away a key means for women and clinics to combat anti-abortion zealots.

GOP Stooge

…Mr. Roberts has a longstanding connection to the Republican Party and to right-wing legal organizations. After clerking for Justice Rehnquist, he held significant positions in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and the elder President Bush, where he became Deputy Solicitor General. In 1992, Bush nominated Roberts for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but his nomination lapsed before it could be considered.

Reproductive Freedom

…In two cases, Roberts took positions hostile to women’s reproductive rights. He was a co-author of the government’s brief in Rust v. Sullivan,10 the case in which the Supreme Court upheld newly revised Title X regulations that prohibited U.S. family planning programs receiving federal aid from giving any abortion-related counseling or other services. The provision barred such clinics not only from providing abortions, but also from “counseling clients about abortion” or even “referring them to facilities that provide abortions.”

In a second abortion-related case, Roberts co-authored the government’s amicus brief in a private suit brought against Operation Rescue by an abortion clinic it had targeted.14 The brief argued that Operation Rescue was not engaged in a conspiracy to deprive women of equal protection. Roberts took this position in spite of Operation Rescue’s admission that its goal was to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to shut down the clinic during its protests. Although the government’s brief acknowledged that only women could become pregnant, it argued that conspiring to prevent people from seeking constitutionally-protected abortions did not constitute gender discrimination. It asserted that, at worst, Operation Rescue was discriminating against pregnant people, not women.

Religion

Roberts co-authored two briefs arguing for an expanded role for religion in public schools. In one case, he co-authored a government amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court, in which he argued that public high schools should be allowed to conduct religious ceremonies as part of a graduation program, a position rejected by the Supreme Court.

In the other, the government argued that barring a religious group from meeting on school grounds violates the Equal Access Act, while granting access does not violate the Establishment Clause.27 The Supreme Court agreed with the government’s position.

Aside from those horrific facts, the document also reveals that Roberts was never properly vetted because of Arlen Specter’s scheduling of three nominee hearings in one day. Very sly.

Finally, Mr. Roberts is being considered for lifetime tenure on a court that is only one step below the U.S. Supreme Court and is acknowledged to be the second most important court in the country. His nomination must be considered in light of the special significance of that court. Moreover, Judiciary Committee Chairman Hatch’s insistence on scheduling three controversial Circuit Court nominees, including Mr. Roberts, for confirmation hearings on a single day ensured that senators had no meaningful opportunity to question Mr. Roberts about his views on a number of critical issues. The Alliance for Justice urges the Senate to reject his confirmation

There’s plenty more in the report, on his private practice work for corporations, and environmental business interests. I’ve saved it as a Word file here.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding