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Memo shows Roberts drop-kicked the Religious Right

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts said conservative political activist and commentator Paul Weyrich was “no friend of ours.”

Oh, the hand-wringing is going on now. John Roberts is going to have a hard time flying under the radar now that this has been unearthed. The Right is pissed.

A memo has surfaced, written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, in which he warned the Reagan administration to steer clear of the Religious Right and also criticized a leading Christian figure. John Lofton was editor of the Conservative Digest at that time and was preparing a series of stories on the hiring practices of the Reagan administration. “I was to meet with the Attorney General William French Smith,” Lofton notes, but before that happened, he says John Roberts wrote Smith a memo, instructing him “as to how to obfuscate the issue, basically — how to answer the questions that I would raise.” In the memo, Roberts advised the administration to distance itself from the Religious Right, and he went on to say that Christian leader Paul Weyrich was “no friend of ours,” Lofton adds. However, he protests, “All Weyrich was trying to do, and myself and many other conservatives, was to make Reagan and his administration keep the promises they made when they were elected. That’s all.” The former Conservative Digest editor feels that kind of fair-weather friendship has been the predominant attitude of the GOP towards its Christian base. “We’ve been wined and dined before the election,” he says, “but the minute they’re elected, suddenly we’re not one of them.” Lofton says that is one reason why he is no longer working for the Republican Party.

By the time all of these documents are gone over with a fine tooth comb, he’ll have lost supporters on both sides of the aisle. What else will be revealed about this man with “no paper trail?”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding