Bench Memos

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In John Roberts’s America


From a statement released by Senator Leahy yesterday:

Those papers that we have received paint a picture of John Roberts as an eager and aggressive advocate of policies that are deeply tinged with the ideology of the far right wing of his party then, and now. In influential White House and Department of Justice positions, John Roberts expressed views that were among the most radical being offered by a cadre intent on reversing decades of policies on civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, privacy, and access to justice.

He advocated overturning a Nixon-era Executive Order that assures non-discrimination in federal contracting; he mocked the efforts of women legislators to find a way to remedy the effects of sex discrimination; he wrote of a “so-called right to privacy” and “so-called fundamental rights;” he opposed efforts to make the voting rights act more effective; and he championed efforts to strip courts of their ability to grant remedies to civil rights plaintiffs, taking a position more extreme than conservative political appointees in the Reagan Justice Department.

Translation: Judge Roberts opposed racial quotas and other racial preferences. He criticized the radical and foolish concept of basing pay on central planners’ subjective determinations of the “comparable worth” of different jobs. He fought against the usurpation by judges of the constitutional ability of American citizens to decide how to govern their states and communities. He opposed the creation of a racial quota system in electoral politics. And he read the provision in the Constitution that states that the Supreme Court “shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make” to mean, lo and behold, that Congress can “make” “Exceptions” to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.
Let’s have this fight.


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