Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Phew! Okay, I’m Back in My Comfort Zone with Roberts!


From: Ellie Smeal
Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 10:34 PM
To: Kathryn Lopez
Subject: Urgent Bulletin: Bush Nominates Far-Right Judge to Supreme Court

Dear Feminist Activists,

President Bush has nominated an ultra-conservative judge to take Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the Supreme Court.

The fight to save the Supreme Court must begin now. The Feminist Majority is opposing John Roberts for the Supreme Court.

Roberts, a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, has a record that indicates he will be a solid vote against women’s rights and Roe v. Wade. As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts argued against Roe v. Wade, and also argued on behalf of Operation Rescue, an extreme anti-abortion group, in Bray v. Alexandria. Those of us who defend clinics know that the result of the pro-choice loss in Bray v. Alexandria was increased violence at clinics. In private practice, Roberts argued against affirmative action.

The Feminist Majority will urge every Senator who supports women’s rights to thoroughly question Roberts on his views on fundamental women’s rights, civil rights, and reproductive rights issues. If Roberts is to be confirmed by Senators, he must say where he stands on Roe, the right to privacy, women’s rights, and civil rights. The burden is on him.

The opposition forces behind President Bush have already raised millions of dollars to support Bush’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Just one such right-wing advocacy organization, Progress for America, has raised $18 million already to fight for President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees. Another such organization, the Judicial Confirmation Network, has raised $3 million for its media campaign to fight any attempt to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee. Progress for America has already launched a website in support of Roberts.

Let there be no mistake about it. The case most likely to be reversed or pivotal in the coming Supreme Court nomination fight is Roe v. Wade. But even some of our progressive friends tend to marginalize the abortion issue. We must rally the millions of women and men who support reproductive rights if Roe is to be saved.

The Feminist Majority must be strong enough to ensure that the rights of women are a central part of the Supreme Court debate. Please make a special emergency contribution to the Feminist Majority’s Save Roe Campaign today. We need money for Internet banner ads, grassroots organizing kits, field organizers, and a massive PR operation.

The Feminist Majority will continue to examine Roberts’ record, and it will demand that Senators not confirm Roberts unless he makes clear that he will not reverse Roe and civil rights for women, minorities, and the disabled.

Women, who have the most to lose, must be the strongest voice in the debate over the Supreme Court. This time, for once, we will not be ignored.

Please help us to mount a campaign worthy of the rights of women.

Together, we can make a difference.

For Women’s Lives,
Eleanor Smeal
Feminist Majority


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