Powered by Blogger

Who links to me?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


***UPDATE: 38, 000 more papers of John Roberts will be released tomorrow. As such, expect to see a Part 3 in this series.***

Shocking new revelations have emerged that expose John Roberts as far more radical than previously thought. Thousands of documents just released by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library show Roberts’ far right views on abortion, illegal searches and women’s rights.
The nomination of a new Justice to the Supreme Court is perhaps the most powerful ability granted to the President. The effects of the selection of John Roberts to the Supreme Court will be felt far into the future, far after George W. Bush has passed on. With these ideas in mind, I've decided to examine Judge Roberts' record more carefully.

The case against John Roberts is now incredibly strong. Democrats must oppose this man at all costs.


My previous post on Roberts detailed his non-belief in the constitutional right to privacy. That alone, I argued, should be enough to warrant a filibuster by the Democrats. I gave an example of the corporate support for John Roberts and argued that his nomination served the Republicans' electoral interests -- hardening their right-wing base for future elections. However, I overlooked a portion of the problem with Roberts by implying that the only way he served corporate interests was by increasing the electoral powers of the Republican Party. That is true but misses the larger point: John Roberts will issue decisions from the bench that will vastly increase Corporate power at the expense of the people.

Roberts gave free legal advice to the National Mining Association. 2 years later he took their money and argued in favor of a horribly destructive way of mining coal. This practice sounds unbelievable, but it happens all the time -- to remove coal from the mountain, just cut off the top of the mountain, let all of the top fall down into the valley below, and mine like crazy. This obliterates the ecosystem of the mountain and valley region. Permanent devastation occurs so that coal companies can save a few bucks by not having to drill a mine. This is the ultimate example of corporations not considering the costs to society from their actions.

Of course, the fact that a powerful, rich Republican would support the coal industry at all costs should come as no surprise. It does reveal, however, that Roberts will be a very conservative jurist.

What's very troubling is that Roberts' views on the power of the commerce clause are very limited. The Federal government's power is very limited by the Constitution. The interstate commerce clause is the main way in which the Federal government can assert their power. We want the power of the Federal government to be limited for several reasons: the needs of each state vary, it gives the people more of a voice and it limits the power of the Executive and Congress to make far reaching decisions. On the other hand, we want the Federal government to have some power. Environmental protections is one of the main things the commerce clause justifies. Each state cannot adequately make environmental decisions because the environment extends far beyond the state's borders. Anything a state does regarding the environment necessarily effects the ecosystem at large, which obviously includes the other 49 states.

In his 2003 dissent in a case regarding the protection of a California toad, Roberts revealed his distaste for the commerce clause by claiming that the feds had no business "regulating the taking of a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California." With that kind of slippery slope logic, very few species would even qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act. While that might be good for business -- because greasing the pockets of state congressmen is a whole lot easier than reaching those in Congress and changing legislation -- it's certainly not good for America. The death of countless species will certainly occur if the radical view of Roberts is adopted by a majority of the Supreme Court.


The Washington Post conducted an analysis of John Roberts’ documents that were finally released by the Reagan Library on Monday. The details are disturbing. First, it’s clear he will work to eliminate a woman’s right to choose. “Bruce Fein, who worked closely with Roberts at the Justice Department, said that he did not know Roberts's personal feelings about abortion. ‘I know he thought Roe was totally ill-reasoned and extra-constitutional. Everyone in the department did -- we talked about it,’ he said.”

That says it right there. His personal views on abortion are only a small part of the issue. If he is against the crux of the Roe holding – that a constitutional right to privacy exists – then he is a radical extremist who will undermine our civil rights at any cost. His associate Bruce Fein frames the debate over Roberts’ views as whether or not he personally is for or against abortion. But when we are discussing a man in not the personal but the legal sense, we are talking about whether or not he would advocate maintaining the constitutional right to choose. It’s clear from his public comments and the words of his friends that he would overturn Roe if given the chance, regardless of his personal views on abortion. Indeed, Roberts co-authored a brief that said that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overturned.

But the newly released documents also prove that Roberts is personally anti-choice. He called a conservative “funeral” service for aborted fetuses "an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy." It’s his right to hold whatever view he wants, but it’s pretty clear that only someone who was anti-choice would speak of an “abortion tragedy”. To argue otherwise is comical.

The released documents reveal Roberts as a sexist. When 3 female Republican congresswomen wrote a letter to the White House urging Reagan to support a case granting women equal pay for comparable work, Roberts compared the conservative female lawmakers to Marxists. He believed that determining what equal pay meant would be equivalent to “central planning of the economy by judges.” That’s right folks, Roberts compared Republicans to Communists. That’s as far from mainstream as mainstream can be. This man isn’t fit for mayor of Springfield, let alone Supreme Court Justice.

Roberts doesn’t believe in the right against illegal search and seizure. He must have missed the Bill of Rights, but that’s pretty “mainstream” for a Republican these days. He believes the “exclusionary rule” should be abandoned. This rule prohibits the admission into court of evidence obtained via illegal searches. Losing this rule would lead to more aggressive policing and far more infringement upon our civil rights. More specifically, losing this rule would disproportionately hurt black males since black males are already disproportionately targeted by corrupt police.


Despite all of the revelations in the release of the Reagan Library documents, the types of documents which were not released may indicate their content. The White House has blocked the release of Roberts’ memo on the Bob Jones University case in which the school’s interracial dating policy played a large role. 20 of 27 pages of memos in a box of documents on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were also not released.

These documents were not released on purpose. The common thread is one of race. Both of these documents raise the possibility that Roberts has made racially insensitive remarks. The fact that a rich, Christian, white, Republican male could be racist is not unsurprising, but the Republicans know that racism charges could destroy Roberts as a nominee. From a moral standpoint, a racist has no place on the Supreme Court. From a legal standpoint, Roberts will have enormous power to roll back civil rights laws in this country and eliminate future attempts at progress.

The Bush Administration, through their Republican cronies running the Reagan library, spent weeks sorting through these documents. The documents held back were on “national security” grounds. Nixon used to claim national security reasons when he was holding back evidence of Watergate.

There are signs that the Republican Party may have committed a crime and destroyed public documents relating to Judge Roberts. The National Archives, an agency of top notch security, cannot locate a folder that it had regarding Roberts’ views on affirmative action. In an Orwellian fashion, the National Archives’ chief archivist now claims that he can “recreate” the folder’s contents. Perhaps this is legitimate, but what smells like rotten fish is that the last person to check out the files was a Bush administration official in July. If that happened at Blockbuster, they’d call me, and they don’t even have armed guards watching the library. Senators Leahy and Kennedy have called for an investigation of the missing files. Even though the investigation will likely amount to nothing, considering the one-party rule in Washington, it is a key first step to find the truth.


The smoking gun has emerged. John Roberts is a hard right conservative who presents the worst case scenario for reasonable Americans. The Democrats have a very easy decision to make. These new documents provide ample moral justification for using the filibuster to attempt to block Roberts from being elevated to the Supreme Court. The Democrats must be united in their opposition to Roberts. Progressives could very well lose faith in the party if the Democrats roll over and allow the Republicans to remake the Supreme Court as a theocratic, far right institution. The very future of our democracy is at stake and we need whatever bit of political power still remains with the people. There is hope that the Democrats agree with me. Senator Leahy, a conservative Democrat who is also a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary committee, called out Roberts as a "radical" who is an "eager, aggressive advocate" for the right wing of the Republican Party. The filibuster is the only sword we have in this battle in the war on corporate evil.

Comments on ""


post a comment