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Roberts instrumental in winning gay rights case, Freepi worried

I’m not particularly stirred by this news on 365gay.com. Roberts advised gay rights groups on how to present a pro-gay argument before the Supremes that would be effective to a conservative court not usually receptive to gay civil rights issues. It may or may not reflect Roberts personal view on the matter, since he has served as as a gun-for-hire on cases; that doesn’t require him to be a true believer in the cause; this case was a pro bono consult.

The fact that he chose to help on the case without hesitation (and left it off of his disclosure to Congress about the pro bono cases he worked on) is a clear signal to the Right, as you will see in the Freepi comments.

The Los Angeles Times reports that John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for a coalition of gay-rights groups, helping them prepare their arguments to present to the court. The case was Romer vs. Evans, which sought to have struck down a voter-approved 1992 Colorado initiative allowing employers and landlords to exclude gays from jobs and housing. The coalition won the case in a 6-3 decision.

At the time gay rights leaders activists described it as the movement’s most important legal victory. The three dissenting justices were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas – the three jurists to whom Roberts is frequently likened for their conservative ideology

The Times reports that Roberts was in private practice at Hogan & Hartson specializing in appeals court case at the time and took the case as part of the firm’s pro bono service. He neither argued the case before the Supreme Court nor did he write the legal briefs but several lawyers involved in the case told the Times that Roberts he was instrumental in reviewing the filings and helping them prepare the oral arguments.

Walter A. Smith Jr who headed up the bono department at Hogan & Hartson, told the Times that Roberts didn’t hesitate when the case was suggested. There is no record of Roberts working on any LGBT rights cases and he does not mention the 1996 case in his 67-page response to a series of questions put to him by the Senate Judiciary Committee. One of the questions the committee asked what pro bono cases he had worked on.

Smith told the Times that it was probably just an oversight because Roberts was not the chief litigator in the case.

And so, now to Freeperland.


Actual Freeper Quotes™

“That should bring Ted Kennedy right on board.”

“This is scary. It is especially troublesome that it was pro bono work and that he apparently volunteered to some extent his services.”

“Shannen Coffin, a Catholic friend of Roberts and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, predicted Roberts would “separate personal philosophy from legal philosophy. Being Catholic, I don’t think, affects him any more than if he’s Hindu.”

“Ann Coulter may be right on this guy.”

“We are scr-wed once again BUMP!!”

“This is very disturbing news concerning a guy that is supposed to be a ‘conservative’. Here we go again….”

“Told ya! [Little Wharvey Gal voice] He’s a Souter!”

“I would be much happier if he had not added his legal skills to this case..however as taken from the article the ability to deny a person housing based on sexual orientation is not a good policy to support..if “correct “that the case was one allowing this type of discrimination I am not concerned as in fairness it is consistent with other anti discrimination laws. “

“I oppose the radical gay agenda on most levels (marriage, adoption,expressing open sexual orientation in military, lack of laws controlling sexual behavior in relation to transmission of disease such as hiv and the right of organizations to restrict membership based on above) Housing is a basic human need and should be free to all who respect the property of a rental owner. Lets hope Roberts is as conservative as we have been told.”

“I do not want another souter.”

“This should make the whinning libs all run up to Roberts and kiss and hug him……”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding