Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Federalist Society Takeover Alert

Via the Pontificator, an important heads-up about another right-wing extremist who's been nominated to the judiciary by the Bush administration.

His name is John Roberts, and he's been nominated to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. You can read all about him at Alliance For Justice.

Among the many points raised about Roberts, this one stands out:

"As a Deputy Solicitor General, Mr. Roberts co-wrote a Supreme Court brief in Rust v. Sullivan, for the Bush administration, which argued that it could prohibit doctors in federal government-sponsored family planning programs from discussing abortions with their patients. The brief not only argued that the regulations were constitutional, notwithstanding the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, but it made the broader argument that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided-an argument unnecessary to defend the regulation. The Supreme Court sided with the government on the narrower grounds that the regulation was constitutional, rather than holding more broadly that Roe v. Wade should be overturned."

And from NARAL, more on this point:

"As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts argued in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court (in a case that did not implicate Roe v. Wade) that '[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled... [T]he Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion... finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution.'"

The one point that I don't think everyone fully appreciates about Roberts' argument is that it is a classic "strict construction" argument. The underpinnings of Roe v. Wade are its basis upon a right to privacy. The courts first ruled that such a right existed in a case (Griswold v. Connecticut) that upheld a woman's right to obtain contraception. Roe v. Wade followed shortly thereafter.

Because no such right is explicitly spelled out in the Constitution, "strict constructionists" argue that privacy rights do not exist (thereby ignoring the 10th Amendment, which makes clear that certain "natural" rights exist outside of the Bill of Rights).

There is much more at stake here than merely abortion.

And then there's the ultimate warning sign: Ann Coulter digs him.

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