Roberts is NOT my choice

To be completely honest, I am not altogether sure that Roberts won’t be confirmed. What I am sure about, however, is those of us who are concerned about the White House stonewalling the release of Robert’s opinions and briefs during 1989-1993 while he was the Principal Deputy Solicitor General under Kenneth Starr, during the administration of President George H.W. Bush, need to step up and speak up. Link to contact your senators

According to Senator Ted Kennedy during the blogger conference call last evening, the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked to see the paper on 16 cases that deal specifically with constitutional law.

It’s no surprise to many of us that the White House has not released those papers, despite the fact, as Sentator Kennedy said, that the solicitar general’s office is the People’s Lawyer, not the administration’s lawyer.

We must speak up. We must make our voices heard. I know many of us are concerned with the effects of Katrina and other pressing issues, but the confirmation of John Roberts must not happen because of the complicity of our silence.

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16 Responses to Roberts is NOT my choice

  1. kj says:

    GO Senator Biden!!! Anyone watching the Robert’s hearings, please let Sen. Biden know what an outstanding job he’s doing!

  2. kj says:

    C-Span 1 re-airing the hearing now. Arlen Spector on…

  3. Ron Chusid says:

    I haven’t been able to follow the hearings, but I just got this email update from the Wall Stree Journal. If this really reflects his opinions it sounds promising:

    Judge John Roberts, President Bush’s nominee to be the Supreme Court’s next chief justice, repeated his belief that Roe v. Wade was “settled as a precedent of the court,” among other statements hinting he might not overturn the landmark abortion decision — a crushing blow to Mr. Bush’s conservative base, if true.

    Under questioning by Sen. Arlen Specter (R, Pa.), an abortion-rights supporter and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Roberts said Roe and a subsequent decision affirming it, Casey v. Planned Parenthood, were “entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis.” That principle, which in Latin means “to stand by a decision,” gives great deference to prior court decisions, creating a high hurdle for overturning them. Judge Roberts also said the Constitution in several ways protects the right to privacy, the foundation of the Roe decision, which legalized abortion. He also said his membership in the Catholic church, which vehemently opposes abortion, wouldn’t influence his work on the court. “There’s nothing in my personal views, based on faith or other sources, that would prevent me from applying the precedent of the court faithfully under the principles of stare decisis,” he said.

    Judge Roberts did not specifically say he wouldn’t overturn Roe, and stare decisis can always be scrapped for various reasons. Years ago, as a deputy solicitor general for the first President Bush, Judge Roberts argued that Roe was improperly decided. But today he said, “It is not enough that you may think the prior decision has been wrongly decided.” His comments hinted that he would leave the Roe and Casey precedents alone, according to Tom Goldstein, a partner at the Washington law firm Goldstein & Howe who has argued several cases before the high court and has taught Supreme Court litigation at Stanford and Harvard law schools. “His comments thus far very strongly suggest that, post-Casey, he would not overturn it given stare decisis,” Mr. Goldstein wrote on the firm’s SCOTUSblog.

    If that is true, then Judge Roberts would keep in place the narrow majority that has supported Roe for decades, deeply disappointing conservatives who hope Mr. Bush will dramatically alter the court’s balance. “We’re concerned about these statements,” Troy Newman, leader of the antiabortion group Operation: Rescue, told the Associated Press, “but the proof will come when it’s time for him to rule on these cases as a justice.”

  4. Ron Chusid says:

    Regarding the above, I’d also feel better if Roberts hadn’t made his previous comments regarding a lack of belief in privacy rights. I’m sure someone will bring this up at the hearings.

  5. Ron

    I only caught a quick moment of Kennedy speaking to reporters at the end of the first round. He’s not happy with the responses. Biden hammered him, hard.

    The Wall Street Journal is painting the republican view.

  6. KJ

    Yes we need to email Joe! He was awesome!

  7. Karen Jones says:

    Ron, I posted somewhere, watching part of the re-play, that Specter’s questions were very direct and Robert’s answers to Specter also direct. He (Roberts) indicated fairly plainly that Roe v Wade was established precident, siting another case, which I’ve already forgotten the name of.

  8. Ginny in CO says:

    Ron,

    I am probably more concerned about his statement that the Constitution doesn’t say anything about privacy than anything else.

    Of all the WEIRD cyberspace misconnects, I was trying to go to JK’s website to get a link for another response, and landed here:

    http://www.plannedchildhood.org/

    Just a little cold shower to start my day… After deleting and retyping the JK address, I did get there. I am still queasy. These are the people who really don’t care about your childhood, just that you come into the world. Too bad if you suffer, it’s God’s will. And if your mother happens to be one of the “undeserving ” poor, they will be even less compassionate about your life.

    Anyone catch George Will’s “Poverty of Thought” in WaPo? There was an unbelievable amount of space on the statistics of how many of the poor victims of NOLA were unmarried women with children, and how much the city/region spends on medicaid, food stamps, etc. In a nutshell, the column lived down to it’s title…

  9. Ron Chusid says:

    Pamela,

    The WSJ’s news material (as opposed to their opinion pages) is usually very good. They know that investors will only pay for real news. Not having seen it I can’t say for sure, but I bet that the account they gave is accurate. Since then I’ve seen other accounts that suggest the same.

    The problem, as I added to my subsequent note, is that even if he thinks that Row v Wade is established law and has no plans to overturn it, there are many other potential problems with his lack of belief in privacy rights.

    Even on abortion, there is plenty of room for Republicans to make abortions harder to get without outright overturning Row v. Wade.

    His lack of desire to overturn Row v. Wade would be a good sign, but is not sufficient to protect abortion rights (and rights in other areas which he does not respect).

  10. KJ says:

    My knowledge of the Judiciary is slim to none, but I believe Specter said there had been 38 attempts (at what level of the courts I don’t know) to diminish Roe v Wade in the past.

  11. Ron Chusid says:

    From scanning more accounts, it does look like their plan is to accept Row v. Wade (to make them sound acceptable to the public) but still evade questions regarding privacy/abortion rights. Politically they are smarter to attempt to restict abortion rights without outright overturning Row v. Wade.

    Hopefully we’ll get more specific answers out of Roberts.

  12. DiFi is grilling him now on women’s rights, etc

  13. Ron Chusid says:

    I wish I had the time to follow the hearings more closely.

    I find this exchange interesting:

    “His answers are misleading with all due respect.” –Biden

    “Wait a minute! Wait a minute! They may be misleading but they are his answers.”–Specter

    Am I taking this to mean that Specter doesn’t mind that the answers are misleading?

  14. Ron

    LOL! I missed that. I had to stop watching myself.

  15. Ron Chusid says:

    As feared, Roberts stated support for Row v. Wade has little real world meaning. Washington Post has this exchange:

    If a state passed a law banning abortion, Biden asked, what would Roberts’s view be?

    Roberts declined to answer. “That is an area where I think I should not respond,” Roberts said.