John Roberts

Law, Politics

I haven’t blogged about Roberts because there doesn’t seem to be any point. He will be the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He may even be, as people claim, a careful judge who respects the law. The argument being that his ideology will be tempered by his respect for precedent and procedure, and even the impact of the law upon real people. In other words, he will be no Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas. Moreover, barring any extraordinary circumstances, the choice is the President’s, and the people of the United States elected George W., like it or not.

But don’t make any mistakes about who he is and what he believes:

Roberts argued that Congress could pass a law preventing all federal courts from ordering busing to achieve school desegregation under any circumstances, a position even more extreme that that advanced by Theodore Olson and adopted by the Reagan Administration. …

Roberts argued that even the Supreme Court could be stripped of the authority to consider cases on abortion, school busing and public school classroom prayer — a position to the right of Theodore Olson and Robert Bork….

Roberts derided affirmative action, maintaining such programs were bound to fail for requiring the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates.” …

At the Dept. of Justice in 1981, Roberts objected to the Dept. of Labor’s continuing enforcement of a bipartisan executive order calling on government contractors to practice affirmative action, calling such policy the promotion of offensive preferences.” …

After the US House, by a 389-24 vote, passed a bill restoring the Voting Rights Act’s prohibition on practices with discriminatory effect, Roberts helped lead administration opposition to the bill, which passed in the Senate overwhelmingly. …

Roberts criticized a Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas law that had allowed school districts to exclude children of undocumented immigrants….

In a recently-decided case brought by a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, Judge Roberts joined a ruling holding that the government could try terrorism suspects without granting them basic due process protections. …

Roberts lauded Chief Justice Rehnquist’s dissent in a Supreme Court decision that overturned an Alabama law authorizing public school sanctioned moments of silence for prayer or meditation, calling the ruling indefensible.”…

Roberts supported a radically narrow view of Title IX, arguing that educational institutions receiving federal aid should not be barred from discriminating against women in programs not specifically receiving the aid….

In a 1990 brief as deputy solicitor general, Roberts urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade (the case to which the brief referred did not directly involve the landmark ruling)….

As an appellate judge, Roberts found that the Geneva Convention provisions were not enforceable in court and that the President’s decision to suspend those provisions for enemy combatants” at Guantanamo was non-reviewable. He voted to uphold the current Bush administration’s military commissions….

Roberts’ record strongly suggests he believes the Constitution does not protect the right to privacy, referring to a so-called right to privacy” in a 1981 memo.

More on Roberts here.